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Tropomyosin implicated in host protective responses to microfilariae in onchocerciasis.


ABSTRACT: A cDNA from adult female Onchocerca volvulus encoding the C-terminal portion of a tropomyosin isoform (termed MOv-14) has been shown previously to confer protective immunity in rodent models of onchocerciasis. The full-length sequence (designated Ov-tmy-1) obtained by PCR amplification, codes for a protein of 33 kDa and shares 91% identity with tropomyosins from other nematodes, falling to 57% identity with human alpha-tropomyosin. Ov-TMY-1 migrates with an apparent molecular mass of 42 kDa on SDS/PAGE and is present in all life-cycle stages, as determined by immunoblotting. Immunogold electron microscopy identified antigenic sites within muscle blocks and the cuticle of microfilariae and infective larvae. Anti-MOv14 antibodies were abundant in mice exhibiting serum-transferable protection against microfilariae conferred by vaccination with a PBS-soluble parasite extract. In contrast, little or no MOv14-specific antibody was present in mice inoculated with live microfilariae, in which resistance is mediated by antibody-independent mechanisms. In human infections, there was an inverse correlation between anti-tropomyosin IgG levels and densities of microfilariae in the skin. Seropositivity varied with the relative endemicity of infection. An immunodominant B cell epitope within Ov-TMY-1 (AQLLAEEADRKYD) was mapped to the N terminus of the MOv14 protein by using sera from protectively vaccinated mice. Intriguingly, the sequence coincides with an IgE-binding epitope within shrimp tropomyosin, believed to be responsible for hypersensitivity in individuals exhibiting allergy to shellfish. IgG and IgE antibodies reacting with the O. volvulus epitope were detected in human infections. It is concluded that antibody responses to tropomyosin may be important in limiting microfilarial densities in a proportion of individuals with onchocerciasis and have the potential to mediate hypersensitivity reactions to dead microfilariae, raising the possibility of a link with the immunopathology of infection.

SUBMITTER: Jenkins RE 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC22680 | BioStudies | 1998-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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