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Infect Immun. 2005 Aug;73(8):4704-13.

Fungal antigens expressed during invasive aspergillosis.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen, Kreuzbergring 57, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany.


Rabbits that had been infected intravenously with conidiospores of Aspergillus fumigatus were used as sources of antibody for screening a lambda phage cDNA expression library. The cDNA was derived from A. fumigatus mRNA that had been extracted from newly formed, germling hyphae. Thirty-six antigens were identified using antisera from six rabbits. Though many of these antigens were expected to be intracellular proteins because their genes did not encode a signal sequence, the antisera showed consistently a stronger immunoblot reaction with a cell fraction enriched for the fungal cell wall than with a fraction of predominantly intracellular components. Antibodies to eight antigens, including the glycosylhydrolase Asp f 16, were produced by more than one rabbit. In current vaccine studies, Asp f 16 is the only single antigen which has been reported to be capable of inducing protection against invasive aspergillosis in mice. Enolase and Aspergillus HSP90 were detected also; their homologues in Candida albicans have been tested as vaccines and have been reported to provide a partially protective response against invasive candidiasis in mice. The Aspergillus antigens reported here may have value both in diagnostic tests for different forms of aspergillosis and as vaccine candidates for protection against invasive disease.

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