Uveitis occur in a proportion of patients with ankylosing spondylitis, and an increased faecal isolation of the Gram-negative micro-organism Klebsiella pneumoniae has been reported from such patients. Immunological cross-reactivity between K. pneumoniae and bovine vitreous humour has been studied by 2 different antibody binding techniques: I125-labelled antigen binding assay with and without carrier, and beta-galactosidase enzyme-immunoassay. Sera from rabbits immunised with whole klebsiella micro-organisms or klebsiella extracts were found to bind labelled vitreous humour antigens to a greater extent (p less than 0.001) than sera from rabbits immunised with Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pyogenes, and phi X 174 virus or sera from the same rabbits before immunisation. It is suggested klebsiella micro-organisms may carry antigenic determinants which resemble vitreous humour antigens.
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