The immune response of experimentally infected hamsters and human patients to Mycoplasma pneumoniae was examined by radioimmunoprecipation in conjunction with gel electrophoresis and fluorography. Both intrinsically and extrinsically labeled mycoplasma proteins were coincubated with acute and convalescent sera in a radioimmunoprecipitation assay. Two M. pneumoniae proteins were selectively precipitated by convalescent sera. These predominant immunogens were trypsin-sensitive, antibody-accessible surface proteins that co-migrate on polyacrylamide gels with proteins P1 and P2, which were previously implicated by us as mediators of cytadsorption. Anti-M. pneumoniae antiserum did not precipitate radiolabeled antigens derived from Mycoplasma orale or Mycoplasma salivarium. These data indicate that M. pneumoniae infection stimulates a specific and highly targeted host antibody response to key proteinaceous immunogens.

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