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Exp Parasitol. 1995 Nov;81(3):332-43.

Plasmodium gallinaceum: sporozoite invasion of Aedes aegypti salivary glands is inhibited by anti-gland antibodies and by lectins.

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Laboratory of Parasitic Disease, NIAID, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


There is evidence which suggests that malaria sporozoites recognize mosquito salivary glands by specific receptor-ligand interactions. We are interested in identifying the putative salivary gland receptor(s) for sporozoite invasion. We used an in vivo bioassay for sporozoite invasion of salivary glands. In this assay, purified sporozoites from mature oocytes of Plasmodium gallinaceum were injected into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and salivary glands were dissected at different time points after injection. One half of the maximum invasion of salivary glands by sporozoites occurred by 6 hr, and salivary gland sporozoite load did not increase further after 24 hr postinjection. This assay was used to determine the effect of experimental treatments with antibodies and lectins at 24 hr postinjection. We raised a rabbit polyclonal antiserum against female Ae. aegypti salivary glands which recognized tissue-specific determinants in the basal lamina of salivary glands. Purified IgG antibody fraction of the immune serum blocked sporozoite invasion in vivo. We tested a panel of 19 lectins and found 7 which bound to salivary glands. Of these 7, succinylated wheat germ agglutinin and wheat germ agglutinin completely blocked sporozoite invasion; Pisum sativum agglutinin and soybean agglutinin partially blocked; and concanavalin A, Dolichos biflorus agglutinin, and Phaseolus vulgaris erythroagglutinin did not block. Our results suggest that sporozoites interact with glycosylated salivary gland surface molecules which serve as receptors for invasion, and which may be in the salivary gland basal lamina. Because the putative sporozoite receptors contain immunogenic determinants, it is feasible to identify them by an immunological strategy.

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