• P. aeruginosa;
  • alginate;
  • vaccination;
  • IgA;
  • IgG;
  • cystic fibrosis

We tried experimentally to induce a specific antibody response against Pseudomonas aeruginosa locally in the airways and systemically in rats by three different routes of immunization; intragastric feeding, intratracheal inoculation or subcutaneous vaccination. Three groups of rats were immunized with live mucoid P. aeruginosa PAO 579 by intragastric feeding or with killed PAO 579 intratracheally or subcutaneously. Three other groups were immunized with purified P. aeruginosa alginate either by intragastric feeding, intratracheally or subcutaneously. At weekly intervals for four weeks animals were sacrificed and serum and bronchial fluid were obtained. The specific IgA and IgG antibody response in lavage fluid and serum was measured. Only traces of antibodies could be detected in the bronchial lavage fluids. Anti-alginate IgA and IgG antibodies developed in all rats immunized with alginate but no antibodies against other P. aeruginosa antigens were detected. The highest IgA and IgG titer against alginate was induced by the subcutaneous immunization. IgA and IgG antibodies against other P. aeruginosa antigens developed in rats immunized with live and sonicated bacteria. The highest IgA and IgG titers were obtained after intratracheal and subcutaneous immunization with sonicated bacteria. The present work has shown that IgA and IgG antibodies develop with high specificity after immunization. The different titers obtained do not necessarily reflect different degrees of protection.