Studies were performed to characterize chemotactic activity generated by Haemophilus influenzae type b (HiTb) in serum or elaborated independent of serum. Neutrophil aggregometry, Sephadex G-75 gel chromatography, and anti-C5 neutralization studies were used to demonstrate that the complement fragment C5a represented the major chemotactic moiety derived from HiTb-serum interactions. HiTb elaborated minimal chemotactic activity independently. Maximal C5a generation by HiTb as measured by neutrophil response in chemotaxis, shape change, and aggregation assays required specific antibody to the capsular polysaccharide, polyribosyl ribitol phosphate (PRP). Significantly more C5a was generated in pooled normal human serum containing high titers of anti-PRP (determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) than in hypogammaglobulinemic serum. Furthermore, C5a generated in hypogammaglobulinemic serum reconstituted with purified high-titer immunoglobulin G, hyperimmune rabbit serum or heat-inactivated normal human serum was comparable to that generated in normal human serum. Absorption of antibody with PRP versus whole HiTb showed a contribution by non-PRP-directed antibody. As shown with the use of C4-deficient guinea pig serum, C5a generation occurred via the alternative complement pathway in nonimmune serum, and activation of the alternative complement pathway was facilitated by specific anti-PRP. C5a generation in test sera was proportional to its opsonic activity for HiTb as assessed by a luminol-chemiluminescence assay. Overall low levels of C5a activity were observed in 13 pediatric patient serum samples obtained during the acute phase of HiTb meningitis, and no pulmonary symptoms or radiographic abnormalities consistent with a leukocyte aggregation syndrome were observed in these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases