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Exp Parasitol. 2012 Jan;130(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2011.10.003. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Characterization of Angiostrongylus cantonensis excretory-secretory proteins as potential diagnostic targets.

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  • 1Laboratório de Biologia Parasitária da Faculdade de Biociências e Laboratório de Parasitologia Molecular do Instituto de Pesquisas Biomédicas da Pontifícia Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul, Avenida Ipiranga 6690, 90690-900 Porto Alegre RS, Brazil.


Angiostrongyliasis results from infections with intra-arterial nematodes that accidentally infect humans. Specifically, infections with Angiostrongylus cantonensis cause eosinophilic meningitis and Angiostrongylus costaricensis infections result in eosinophilic enteritis. Immunological tests are the primary means of diagnosing infections with either pathogen since these parasites are usually not recoverable in fecal or cerebrospinal fluid. However, well-defined, purified antigens are not currently available in sufficient quantities from either pathogen for use in routine immunodiagnostic assays. Since A. costaricensis and A. cantonensis share common antigens, sera from infected persons will recognize antigens from either species. In addition to their potential use in angiostrongyliasis diagnosis, characterization of these proteins that establish the host-parasite interphase would improve our understanding of the biology of these parasites. The main objective of the present work was to characterize A. cantonensis excretory-secretory (ES) products by analyzing ES preparations by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with immunoblotting using pools of positive sera (PS) and sera from healthy individuals (SC). Protein spots recognized by PS were excised and analyzed by electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry. MASCOT analysis of mass spectrometry data identified 17 proteins: aldolase; CBR-PYP-1 protein; beta-amylase; heat shock protein 70; proteosome subunit beta type-1; actin A3; peroxiredoxin; serine carboxypeptidase; protein disulfide isomerase 1; fructose-bisphosphate aldolase 2; aspartyl protease inhibitor; lectin-5; hypothetical protein F01F1.12; cathepsin B-like cysteine proteinase 1; hemoglobinase-type cysteine proteinase; putative ferritin protein 2; and a hypothetical protein. Molecular cloning of these respective targets will next be carried out to develop a panel of Angiostrongylus antigens that can be used for diagnostic purposes and to further study host-Angiostrongylus interactions.

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