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Infect Immun. 2006 Feb;74(2):1189-95.

Identification of a Naegleria fowleri membrane protein reactive with anti-human CD59 antibody.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Sanger Hall, 1101 E. Marshall Street, P.O. Box 980678, Richmond, VA 23298-0678, USA.


Naegleria fowleri, the causative agent of primary amebic meningoencephalitis, is resistant to complement lysis. The presence of a complement regulatory protein on the surface of N. fowleri was investigated. Southern blot and Northern blot analyses demonstrated hybridization of a radiolabeled cDNA probe for CD59 to genomic DNA and RNA, respectively, from pathogenic N. fowleri. An 18-kDa immunoreactive protein was detected on the membrane of N. fowleri by Western immunoblot and immunofluorescence analyses with monoclonal antibodies for human CD59. Complement component C9 immunoprecipitated with the N. fowleri "CD59-like" protein from amebae incubated with normal human serum. In contrast, a gene or protein similar to CD59 was not detected in nonpathogenic, complement-sensitive N. gruberi amebae. Collectively, our studies suggest that a protein reactive with antibodies to human CD59 is present on the surface of N. fowleri amebae and may play a role in resistance to lysis by cytolytic proteins.

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