Departments of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, Amoebiasis Research Programme, South African Medical Research Council (Durban), St. Louis, Missouri, South Africa
We have used serum from patients with amebic liver abscess to investigate the role of antibody in the prevention of invasive amebiasis using the severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mouse model of Entamoeba histolytica infection. The SCID mice were passively immunized with serum or purified antibody from patients with amebic liver abscess 24 hr prior to the direct intrahepatic challenge with 106 virulent E. histolytica trophozoites. This treatment reduced the mean abscess size in these animals from 24.5% to 3.5% (P < 0.0001). These results demonstrate that human anti-amebic antibodies are capable of exerting a protective effect in an animal model of amebic liver abscess formation.