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Exp Parasitol. 1994 Dec;79(4):489-505.

Brugia malayi: the diagnostic potential of recombinant excretory/secretory antigens.

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Department of Parasitology, Tulane Regional Primate Research Center, Tulane University Medical Center, Covington, Louisiana.


The diagnostic potential of recombinant E/S antigens of the lymphatic filaria Brugia malayi was investigated by Western blot. A cDNA expression library was constructed using B. malayi male adult worm mRNA, and E/S recombinants were identified with a rabbit antiserum raised against E/S products collected in vitro from B. malayi male and female adult worms. Two of these recombinants, Bm12 and Bm14L, were studied after subcloning the cDNA inserts in an Escherichia coli plasmid expression and purification vector, obtaining the inserts' nucleotide sequence, and purifying the expressed proteins. By homology of their deduced amino acid sequence with that of previously identified proteins, Bm12 was identified as the B. malayi gp 15/400 antigen, and Bm14 as a member of the hsp90 family of heat shock proteins. The antigenic cross-reactivity of the purified recombinant proteins was assessed with 28 serum samples from patients infected with Ascaris, Trichuris, or hookworm, and also with a few samples from patients with onchocerciasis and loiasis. For Bm12, the specificity for all of the intestinal helminthiasis together was 75%. Bm14L, on the other hand, cross-reacted with all of the ascariasis serum samples with which it was tested. Presence of antibodies cross-reactive with B. malayi was confirmed in all of these serum samples by examining their antibody reactivity with Western blots of extracts of whole B. malayi adult worms. A semiquantitative (+ or -) assessment of the sensitivity of Bm12 for antibody detection was performed using 6 serum samples from patients with chronic filariasis and 24 samples from patients with microfilaremia. All of these serum samples contained anti-Bm12 antibody (sensitivity of 100%). Finally, the ability of Bm12 to detect antibody before the onset of patency was established with a longitudinal collection of serum samples obtained from 2 African green vervets (Cercopithecus aethiops) and 3 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), all of which were infected with B. malayi. Anti-Bm12 antibodies were detectable in all animals between 4 and 11 weeks before patency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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