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Int J Parasitol. 2010 Oct;40(12):1407-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2010.04.019. Epub 2010 Jun 30.

Schistosoma mansoni host-exposed surface antigens characterized by sera and recombinant antibodies from schistosomiasis-resistant rats.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Rd., North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.


Antibodies from Schistosoma mansoni-infected rats, unlike mice, show a higher titer for schistosome apical tegumental antigens compared with non-apical membrane antigens. These antibodies bind to the surface of living lung-stage worms and to formaldehyde-fixed adult worms. We produced a single-chain antibody Fv domain (scFv) phage library displaying the antibody repertoire of rats highly immune to schistosome infection and we selected for scFvs that recognize the host-exposed surface of worms. Five unique rat scFvs (Teg1, Teg4, Teg5, Teg20 and Teg37) were obtained which recognize schistosome surface epitopes. Each of the scFvs recognizes the surface of living schistosomula and lung-stage schistosomules and/or the surface of formaldehyde-fixed adult worms. None of these scFvs reproducibly stained living adult worms. This suggests that a change occurs during the transition from lung schistosomules to 4-week adults such that at least some surface antigens, although remaining on the surface in living adult worms, can no longer be immunologically stained. Teg1 and Teg4 scFvs both recognize specific bands on Western blots. No bands were observed for the other three scFvs, suggesting that these scFvs may recognize non-protein or conformationally-dependent epitopes. Teg1 was unambiguously identified as recognizing the S. mansoni tetraspanin antigen, SmTSP-2, within the large extracellular domain. Teg4 recognizes a 35kDa band tentatively identified as Sm29 by proteomic analysis. These scFvs can now be used to characterize schistosome epitopes at the host-parasite interface, to target worms in vivo, and to study the mechanisms by which these worms naturally evade immune damage to the tegument within permissive hosts.

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