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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1995 Feb;69(2):185-95.

Characterisation of an immunodominant glycoprotein antigen of Onchocerca volvulus with homologues in other filarial nematodes and Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Biology, Imperial College, London, UK.


The full-length cDNA corresponding to an Onchocerca volvulus antigen, OvMBP/11, which had been selected as a serodiagnostic tool was isolated, sequenced, and the native antigen encoded by the cDNA characterised. The cDNA encodes a protein of 20.5 kDa (termed Ov 20) containing a putative signal peptide. Southern blot analysis indicates that there is only a single O. volvulus gene corresponding to Ov 20 but it has significant sequence similarity to genes corresponding to two 20.5-kDa predicted proteins of Caenorhabditis elegans. Homologues of the Ov 20 gene were detected at high stringency by Southern blot in the other Onchocerca species O. gibsoni, and O. gutturosa and at lower stringency in the related filarial nematodes Brugia malayi and Acanthocheilonema viteae. The Ov 20 native antigen has two molecular mass forms, 20 and 22 kDa, in all the life cycle stages studied. These isoforms have different levels of N-linked glycosylation on a peptide backbone of 17.5 kDa. Immunolocalisation and in situ hybridisation studies demonstrated that Ov 20 is transcribed and translated in the body wall of adult females and also in microfilariae, third and fourth stage larvae. Antigen was detected in the supernatant of in vitro cultured adult female nematodes. The B. malayi and A. viteae homologues are antigenically cross-reactive to Ov 20, share the same size peptide backbone but differ in their degree of glycosylation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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