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J Immunol. 1988 Oct 1;141(7):2480-6.

Identification of a surface antigen on Loa loa microfilariae the recognition of which correlates with the amicrofilaremic state in man.

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International Centre for Medical Research, Franceville, Gabon.


Filarial infections induce a spectrum of disease in their natural hosts, and by correlating immunity found in individuals with their disease pattern, one may delineate non-pathogenic, protective mechanisms. Loa loa is causal of mild to moderate pathology, and it is unique among the human filaria in that adult worms are occasionally visible during subconjunctival migration. To study immune mechanisms controlling microfilaremia, sera from 15 subjects with amicrofilaremic occult loiasis (OL) were compared with sera from 10 subjects with microfilaremic loiasis (ML) microfilaremia, (greater than 4000/ml) for their reactions with living microfilariae (mf). An IFA was first used to detect antibodies able to bind to the surface of living L. loa mf. ML subjects either did not react (7/10) or reacted only very weakly (3/10). Highly reactive sera were found only in OL subjects; 7/15 gave very bright fluorescence, 5/15 gave moderate reactions, and 3/15 were negative. Most of these antibodies were of the IgG class. Sera from all subjects were also reacted with living mf in an antibody-dependent cellular adherence test using normal leukocytes. Sera that were strongly positive in IFA showed strong adherence and IFA-negative sera were non-reactive. To identify the Ag involved, mf were surface iodinated, detergent-extracted Ag were immunoprecipitated, and Mr was determined on SDS-PAGE. Several OL sera, all highly reactive in the above tests, precipitated a 23-kDa molecule with which all ML sea failed to react. Sera from a mandrill experimentally infected with L. loa also precipitated the 23-kDa Ag when taken post-patency. In conclusion, it appears that certain people who control L. loa microfilaremia have high levels of IgG antibodies that bind to a surface Ag of 23 kDa and are able to mediate cellular adherence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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