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Immunol Cell Biol. 2013 Aug;91(7):477-85. doi: 10.1038/icb.2013.33. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

The developing schistosome worms elicit distinct immune responses in different tissue regions.

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  • 1Biotechnology Research Laboratories, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Schistosome parasites follow a complex migration path through various tissues, changing their antigenic profile as they develop. A thorough understanding of the antibody response in each tissue region could help unravel the complex immunology of these developing parasites and aid vaccine design. Here we used a novel strategy for analysing the local antibody responses induced by Schistosoma japonicum infection at each site of infection. Cells from rat lymph nodes draining the sites of larval migration (the skin and lungs), the liver-lymph nodes where adults reside and the spleens were cultured to allow the in vivo-induced antibody-secreting cells to release antibody into the media. The amount and isotype of antibodies secreted in the supernatants differed significantly in the different lymph nodes and spleen, corresponding with the migration path of the schistosome worms. In addition, there were significant differences in binding specificity, as determined by surface labelling, western blots and by screening a glycan array. Through capturing the local antibody response, this study has revealed dramatic differences in the quality and specificity of the immune response at different tissue sites, and highlighted the existence of stage-specific protein and carbohydrate antigens. This will provide a valuable tool for the isolation of novel vaccine targets against the larval stages of schistosomes.

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