(1/3338) Linear peptide specificity of bovine antibody responses to p67 of Theileria parva and sequence diversity of sporozoite-neutralizing epitopes: implications for a vaccine.

A stage-specific surface antigen of Theileria parva, p67, is the basis for the development of an anti-sporozoite vaccine for the control of East Coast fever (ECF) in cattle. By Pepscan analysis with a series of overlapping synthetic p67 peptides, the antigen was shown to contain five distinct linear peptide sequences recognized by sporozoite-neutralizing murine monoclonal antibodies. Three epitopes were located between amino acid positions 105 to 229 and two were located between positions 617 to 639 on p67. Bovine antibodies to a synthetic peptide containing one of these epitopes neutralized sporozoites, validating this approach for defining immune responses that are likely to contribute to immunity. Comparison of the peptide specificity of antibodies from cattle inoculated with recombinant p67 that were immune or susceptible to ECF did not reveal statistically significant differences between the two groups. In general, antipeptide antibody levels in the susceptible animals were lower than in the immune group and neither group developed high responses to all sporozoite-neutralizing epitopes. The bovine antibody response to recombinant p67 was restricted to the N- and C-terminal regions of p67, and there was no activity against the central portion between positions 313 and 583. So far, p67 sequence polymorphisms have been identified only in buffalo-derived T. parva parasites, but the consequence of these for vaccine development remains to be defined. The data indicate that optimizations of the current vaccination protocol against ECF should include boosting of relevant antibody responses to neutralizing epitopes on p67.  (+info)

(2/3338) Preparation of antibodies directed to the Babesia ovata- or Theileria sergenti-parasitized erythrocytes.

To investigate the surface antigens of the bovine red blood cells (RBCs) parasitized by Babesia ovata or Theileria sergenti, attempts were made to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with BALB/c mice. Comparable numbers of hybridomas producing anti-piroplasm mAbs, as well as anti-bovine RBC mAbs, were obtained from the mice immunized with B. ovata- or T. sergenti-PRBCs. However, mAbs directed to the surface of parasitized RBCs (PRBCs) were obtained only from the mice immunized with B. ovata-PRBCs, but not from those immunized with T. sergenti-PRBCs. When serum samples from the immunized mice and the infected cattle were examined, antibodies recognizing B. ovata-PRBC surface were detected in the sera against B. ovata, but analogous antibodies were undetectable in the sera against T. sergenti, despite that the sera showed substantial antibody titers to T. sergenti piroplasms. The results suggest that significant antigenic modifications occur on the surface of B. ovata-PRBCs, but not on the surface of T. sergenti-PRBCs.  (+info)

(3/3338) Immunoglobulin subclass distribution and diagnostic value of Leishmania donovani antigen-specific immunoglobulin G3 in Indian kala-azar patients.

Visceral leishmaniasis, or kala-azar, a fatal tropical disease, remains problematic, as early diagnosis is difficult and treatment often results in drug resistance and relapse. We have developed a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), using leishmanial membrane antigenic extracts (LAg) to detect specific antibody responses in 25 untreated Indian visceral leishmaniasis patients. To investigate the pathogenetic significance of isotype markers in kala-azar, relative levels of specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, IgA, IgE, and IgG subclasses were analyzed under clinically established diseased conditions. Since LAg showed higher sensitivity for specific IgG than lysate, the immunoglobulin isotype responses were evaluated, with LAg as antigen. Compared to 60 controls, which included patients with malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, and typhoid and healthy subjects, visceral leishmaniasis patients showed significantly higher IgG (100% sensitivity, 85% specificity), IgM (48% sensitivity, 100% specificity), and IgE (44% sensitivity, 98.3% specificity) responses. Low levels of IgA in visceral leishmaniasis patients contrasted with a 13-fold-higher reactivity in sera from patients with leprosy. Among IgG subclasses, IgG1, -3, and -4 responses were significantly higher in visceral leishmaniasis patients than in the controls. IgG2 response, however, was significantly higher (twofold) in leprosy than even visceral leishmaniasis patients. The rank orders for sensitivity (IgG = IgG1 = IgG3 = IgG4 > IgG2 > IgM > IgE > IgA) and specificity (IgM = IgG3 > IgE > IgG4 > IgG2 > IgG > IgG1 > IgA) for LAg-specific antibody responses suggest the potentiality of IgG3 as a diagnostic marker for visceral leishmaniasis.  (+info)

(4/3338) Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for IgA antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in congenital infection.

With the aim of achieving earlier diagnosis of congenital Trypanosoma cruzi infection, we assessed the usefulness of detecting specific IgA antibody by an ELISA. We evaluated 12 pregnant women chronically infected with T. cruzi, their newborn infants, and three additional neonates with parasitemia at birth. The IgA-specific antibody was detected by adapting the procedure for use of a commercial IgG ELISA, the Hemagen Chagas' Kit (Hemagen Diagnostics, Inc., Waltham, MA). Trypanosoma cruzi-specific IgA was detected in 10 (83%) of 12 mothers at delivery, in one of three parasitemic infants, and one of 12 newborns of the chronically infected women. Testing of 13 infants at six months of age revealed IgA in seven infants (54%), of whom four also had persistent T. cruzi-specific IgG. Detection of T. cruzi-specific IgA could provide a criterion for diagnosis of congenital infection in the absence of detectable parasitemia.  (+info)

(5/3338) Prevalence of intestinal parasite infections with special reference to Entamoeba histolytica on the island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea).

The prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections was assessed (1993 through 1995) among two different groups of persons on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. In the first group, parasitologic examinations were performed on stool specimens from a household-based sample of 557 dwellers from the rural area of the island. In the second group, 1,633 inpatients and outpatients at the General Hospital of Malabo (the capital of the country) were studied. All age groups were represented in both groups. The average prevalence of the most common protozoan and helminthic intestinal infections in rural and urban areas, respectively, was as follows: Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar (14.9% and 32.7%, respectively), Giardia lamblia (7.2% and 8.6%), Ascaris lumbricoides (45.8% and 31.4%), and Trichuris trichiura (25.7% and 36.4%). Seventy-nine sera from patients with amebic liver abscess (suspected by ultrasonography) were studied by an immunohemagglutination assay, with 44 (56%) showing anti-E. histolytica titers > or = 1:32. Of these 79 sera, 71 were studied by an enzyme immunoassay, 86% of which were positive with titers > or = 1:64. This study showed that parasitic infections in Equatorial Guinea represent a major health problem.  (+info)

(6/3338) Immunization of mice with DNA-based Pfs25 elicits potent malaria transmission-blocking antibodies.

Immunological intervention, in addition to vector control and malaria chemotherapy, will be needed to stop the resurgence of malaria, a disease with a devastating impact on the health of 300 to 500 million people annually. We have pursued a vaccination strategy, based on DNA immunization in mice with genes encoding two antigens present on the sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum, Pfs25 and Pfg27, to induce biologically important antibodies that can block development of the parasite in the Anopheles mosquito and thus transmission of the disease. DNA encoding Pfs25 when administered by the intramuscular route, either alone or with DNA encoding Pfg27, had the most potent transmission-blocking effects, resulting in up to a 97% decrease in oocyst numbers in mosquito midguts and a 75% decrease in rate of infection. Immunization with DNA encoding a Pfg27-Pfs25 fusion protein was less effective and DNA encoding Pfg27 elicited antibodies in sera that had only modest effects on the infectivity of the parasite. These results show for the first time that DNA vaccination can result in potent transmission-blocking antibodies in mice and suggest that the Pfs25 gene should be included as part of a multicomponent DNA vaccine.  (+info)

(7/3338) Antibodies reactive with the N-terminal domain of Plasmodium falciparum serine repeat antigen inhibit cell proliferation by agglutinating merozoites and schizonts.

The serine repeat antigen (SERA) is a vaccine candidate antigen of Plasmodium falciparum. Immunization of mice with Escherichia coli-produced recombinant protein of the SERA N-terminal domain (SE47') induced an antiserum that was inhibitory to parasite growth in vitro. Affinity-purified mouse antibodies specific to the recombinant protein inhibited parasite growth between the schizont and ring stages but not between the ring and schizont stages. When Percoll-purified schizonts were cultured with the affinity-purified SE47'-specific antibodies, schizonts and merozoites were agglutinated. Indirect-immunofluorescence assays with unfixed parasite cells showed that SE47'-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) bound to SERA molecules on rupturing schizonts and merozoites but the IgG did not react with the schizont-infected erythrocytes (RBC). Furthermore, double-fluorescence staining against SE47'-specific IgG and anti-human RBC membrane IgG showed that the RBC membrane disappeared from SE47'-specific-IgG-bound schizonts after cultivation. These observations suggest that the SE47'-specific antibodies inhibit parasite growth by cross-linking SERA molecules that are associated with merozoites in rupturing schizonts with partly broken RBC and parasitophorous vacuole membranes, blocking merozoite release.  (+info)

(8/3338) Value of Western blotting in the clinical follow-up of canine leishmaniasis.

Specific serum antibody levels in Leishmania infantum-infected dogs treated with a combination of glucantime and allopurinol were estimated by indirect immunofluorescence and Western blotting. The sensitivity of Western blot was greater than that obtained with immunofluorescence titration. In general, both diagnostic methods concurred with the post-treatment clinical status of the animals. Clinical improvement of successfully treated dogs was related to lower immunofluorescence titers and simpler and/or less reactive immunodetection patterns in Western blotting. The recognition, by infected dogs, of certain low molecular weight antigens, particularly one of approximately 26 kDa, was restricted to pretreatment samples and a single animal in relapse thus apparently constituting an active infection marker.  (+info)