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Vet Res. 2011 Aug 3;42:91. doi: 10.1186/1297-9716-42-91.

Selection of Neospora caninum antigens stimulating bovine CD4+ve T cell responses through immuno-potency screening and proteomic approaches.

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  • 1Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Midlothian, EH26 0PZ, UK.


Neospora caninum is recognised worldwide as a major cause of bovine infectious abortion. There is a real need to develop effective strategies to control infection during pregnancy which may lead to either abortion or congenital transmission. Due to the intracellular nature of the parasite, cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses involving CD4(+ve), CD8(+ve), γ/δ TCR(+ve) T cells and NK cells, as well as production of IFN-γ, are thought to be important for protective immunity. In this study we applied a combination of proteomic and immunological approaches to identify antigens of N. caninum that are recognized by CD4(+ve) T cell lines derived from infected cattle. Initially, N. caninum tachyzoite Water Soluble Antigens (NcWSA) were fractionated by size-exclusion HPLC and then screened for immune-potency using CD4(+ve) T cell lines. LC-ESI-MS/MS (liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry) was employed to catalogue and identify the proteins comprising three immunologically selected fractions and led to the identification of six N. caninum target proteins as well as sixteen functional orthologues of Toxoplasma gondii. This approach allows the screening of biologically reactive antigenic fractions by the immune cells responsible for protection (such as bovine CD4(+ve) cells) and the subsequent identification of the stimulating components using tandem mass spectrometry.

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