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Biochem Soc Symp. 1987;53:91-102.

Cloned antigen genes of Brugia filarial parasites.

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Imperial College of Science and Technology, London.


Human lymphatic filariasis is a chronic, potentially debilitating disease caused by Brugia and Wuchereria species of parasitic nematodes. The spectrum of clinical manifestations appears to be related to the immune response of individuals to invasive larvae, adult worms and circulating first-stage larvae (microfilariae). Potential immunopathological outcomes place constraints on vaccine development, emphasizing the need to understand the basis of immunity and pathology. Clones coding for a number of distinct antigenic proteins of Brugia pahangi and Brugia malayi have been isolated via immunological screening of a cDNA expression library. A small number of these expressed peptides show exclusive reactivity with antibody from amicrofilaraemic, potentially immune individuals. Surprisingly, a dominant immunogen isolated with human antibody is the filarial parasite homologue of heat shock protein (hsp) 70. This protein is constitutively expressed in both insect- and mammalian-dwelling parasitic stages, but does not appear to presented to the host immune system in intact worms.

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