Canine antibody response to Phlebotomus perniciosus bites negatively correlates with the risk of Leishmania infantum transmission.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Phlebotomine sand flies are blood-sucking insects that can transmit Leishmania parasites. Hosts bitten by sand flies develop an immune response against sand fly salivary antigens. Specific anti-saliva IgG indicate the exposure to the vector and may also help to estimate the risk of Leishmania spp. transmission. In this study, we examined the canine antibody response against the saliva of Phlebotomus perniciosus, the main vector of Leishmania infantum in the Mediterranean Basin, and characterized salivary antigens of this sand fly species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sera of dogs bitten by P. perniciosus under experimental conditions and dogs naturally exposed to sand flies in a L. infantum focus were tested by ELISA for the presence of anti-P. perniciosus antibodies. Antibody levels positively correlated with the number of blood-fed P. perniciosus females. In naturally exposed dogs the increase of specific IgG, IgG1 and IgG2 was observed during sand fly season. Importantly, Leishmania-positive dogs revealed significantly lower anti-P. perniciosus IgG2 compared to Leishmania-negative ones. Major P. perniciosus antigens were identified by western blot and mass spectrometry as yellow proteins, apyrases and antigen 5-related proteins. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that monitoring canine antibody response to sand fly saliva in endemic foci could estimate the risk of L. infantum transmission. It may also help to control canine leishmaniasis by evaluating the effectiveness of anti-vector campaigns. Data from the field study where dogs from the Italian focus of L. infantum were naturally exposed to P. perniciosus bites indicates that the levels of anti-P. perniciosus saliva IgG2 negatively correlate with the risk of Leishmania transmission. Thus, specific IgG2 response is suggested as a risk marker of L. infantum transmission for dogs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Phlebotomus perniciosus is the main vector in the western Mediterranean area of the protozoan parasite Leishmania infantum, the causative agent of canine and human visceral leishmaniases. Infected dogs serve as a reservoir of the disease, and therefore measuring the exposure of dogs to sand fly bites is important for estimating the risk of L. infantum transmission. In bitten hosts, sand fly saliva elicits a specific antibody response that reflects the intensity of sand fly exposure. As screening of specific anti-saliva antibodies is limited by the availability of salivary gland homogenates, utilization of recombinant salivary proteins is a promising alternative. In this manuscript we show for the first time the use of recombinant salivary proteins as a functional tool for detecting P. perniciosus bites in dogs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The reactivity of six bacterially-expressed recombinant salivary proteins of P. perniciosus, yellow-related protein rSP03B, apyrases rSP01B and rSP01, antigen 5-related rSP07, ParSP25-like protein rSP08 and D7-related protein rSP04, were tested with sera of mice and dogs experimentally bitten by this sand fly using immunoblots and ELISA. In the immunoblots, both mice and canine sera gave positive reactions with yellow-related protein, both apyrases and ParSP25-like protein. A similar reaction for recombinant salivary proteins was observed by ELISA, with the reactivity of yellow-related protein and apyrases significantly correlated with the antibody response of mice and dogs against the whole salivary gland homogenate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Three recombinant salivary antigens of P. perniciosus, yellow-related protein rSP03B and the apyrases rSP01B and rSP01, were identified as the best candidates for evaluating the exposure of mice and dogs to P. perniciosus bites. Utilization of these proteins, or their combination, would be beneficial for screening canine sera in endemic areas of visceral leishmaniases for vector exposure and for estimating the risk of L. infantum transmission in dogs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Canine leishmaniosis caused by Leishmania infantum is a neglected zoonosis transmitted by sand flies like Phlebotomus perniciosus. Clinical signs and disease susceptibility vary according to various factors, including host immune response and breed. In particular, Ibizan hounds appear more resistant. This immunocompetence could be attributed to a more frequent exposure to uninfected sand flies, eliciting a stronger anti-sand fly saliva antibody response.<h4>Methods</h4>This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of anti-P. perniciosus saliva antibodies in Ibizan hounds and dogs of other breeds in the Leishmania-endemic area of Mallorca, Spain, and to correlate these antibody levels with clinical, immunological and parasitological parameters. Anti-sand fly saliva IgG was examined in 47 Ibizan hounds and 45 dogs of other breeds using three methods: P. perniciosus whole salivary gland homogenate (SGH) ELISA; recombinant protein rSP03B ELISA; and rSP03B rapid tests (RT). Additionally, diagnostic performance was evaluated between methods.<h4>Results</h4>Results indicate significantly higher anti-SGH antibodies (P?=?0.0061) and a trend for more positive SGH ELISA and RT results in Ibizan hounds compared to other breeds. General linear model analysis also found breed to be a significant factor in SGH ELISA units and a marginally significant factor in RT result. Although infection rates were similar between groups, Ibizan hounds included significantly more IFN-? producers (P?=?0.0122) and papular dermatitis cases (P < 0.0001). Older age and L. infantum seropositivity were also considered significant factors in sand fly saliva antibody levels according to at least one test. Fair agreement was found between all three tests, with the highest value between SGH and rSP03B RT.<h4>Conclusions</h4>To our knowledge, this is the first study elaborating the relationship between anti-P. perniciosus saliva antibodies and extensive clinical data in dogs in an endemic area. Our results suggest that Ibizan hounds experience a higher frequency of exposure to sand flies and have a stronger cellular immune response to L. infantum infection than other breed dogs. Additional sampling is needed to confirm results, but anti-P. perniciosus saliva antibodies appear to negatively correlate with susceptibility to L. infantum infection and could possibly contribute to the resistance observed in Ibizan hounds.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Phlebotomine sand flies are vectors of Leishmania parasites. During blood feeding, sand flies deposit into the host skin immunogenic salivary proteins which elicit specific antibody responses. These anti-saliva antibodies enable an estimate of the host exposure to sand flies and, in leishmaniasis endemic areas, also the risk for Leishmania infections. However, the use of whole salivary gland homogenates as antigen has several limitations, and therefore, recombinant salivary proteins have been tested to replace them in antibody detection assays. In this study, we have used for the first time sand fly salivary recombinant proteins in a longitudinal field study on dogs.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Sera from dogs naturally exposed to P. perniciosus bites over two consecutive transmission seasons in a site endemic for canine leishmaniasis (CanL) were tested at different time points by ELISA for the antibodies recognizing whole saliva, single salivary 43 kDa yellow-related recombinant protein (rSP03B), and a combination of two salivary recombinant proteins, 43 kDa yellow-related protein and 35.5 kDa apyrase (rSP01). Dogs were also tested for Leishmania infantum positivity by serology, culture, and PCR and the infection status was evaluated prospectively. We found a significant association between active CanL infection and the amount of anti-P. perniciosus saliva antibodies. Importantly, we detected a high correlation between IgG antibodies recognizing rSP03B protein and the whole salivary antigen. The kinetics of antibody response showed for both a whole saliva and rSP03B a similar pattern that was clearly related to the seasonal abundance of P. perniciosus.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results suggest that P. perniciosus rSP03B protein is a valid alternative to whole saliva and could be used in large-scale serological studies. This novel method could be a practical and economically-sound tool to detect the host exposure to sand fly bites in CanL endemic areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The development of a protective vaccine against canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) is an alternative approach for interrupting the domestic cycle of Leishmania infantum. Given the importance of sand fly salivary proteins as potent immunogens obligatorily co-deposited during transmission of Leishmania parasites, their inclusion in an anti-Leishmania vaccine has been investigated in the last few decades. In this context, we previously immunized dogs with a vaccine composed of L. braziliensis antigens plus saponin as the adjuvant and sand fly salivary gland extract (LBSapSal vaccine). This vaccine elicited an increase in both anti-saliva and anti-Leishmania IgG isotypes, higher counts of specific circulating CD8? T cells, and high NO production. METHODS: We investigated the immunogenicity and protective effect of LBSapSal vaccination after intradermal challenge with 1 × 10? late-log-phase L. infantum promastigotes in the presence of sand fly saliva of Lutzomyia longipalpis. The dogs were followed for up to 885 days after challenge. RESULTS: The LBSapSal vaccine presents extensive antigenic diversity with persistent humoral and cellular immune responses, indicating resistance against CVL is triggered by high levels of total IgG and its subtypes (IgG1 and IgG2); expansion of circulating CD5?, CD4?, and CD8? T lymphocytes and is Leishmania-specific; and reduction of splenic parasite load. CONCLUSIONS: These results encourage further study of vaccine strategies addressing Leishmania antigens in combination with proteins present in the saliva of the vector.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In endemic areas of zoonotic leishmaniosis caused by L. infantum, early detection of Leishmania infection in dogs is essential to control the dissemination of the parasite to humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the serological and/or molecular diagnostic performance of minimally and non-invasive samples (conjunctiva cells (CS) and peripheral blood (PB)) for monitoring Leishmania infection/exposure to Phlebotomus perniciosus salivary antigens in dogs at the beginning and the end of sand fly seasonal activity (May and October, respectively) and to assess associated risks factors. METHODS:A total of 208 sheltered dogs from endemic areas of leishmaniosis were screened. Leishmania DNA detection in PB on filter paper and CS was performed by nested-PCR (nPCR), while the detection of anti-Leishmania antibodies was performed using IFAT and ELISA. The exposure to P. perniciosus salivary antigens (SGH, rSP01 and rSP03B?+?rSP01) was measured by ELISA. RESULTS:Ninety-seven (46.6%) and 116 (55.8%) of the 208 dogs were positive to Leishmania antibodies or DNA by at least one test at the beginning and end of the sand fly season, respectively. IFAT and ELISA presented a substantial agreement in the serodiagnosis of leishmaniosis. Discrepant PB nPCR results were obtained between sampling points. Leishmania DNA was detected in CS of 72 dogs at the end of the phlebotomine season. The presence of antibodies to the parasite measured by ELISA was significantly higher in dogs presenting clinical signs compatible with leishmaniosis at both sampling points. Phlebotomus perniciosus salivary antibodies were detected in 179 (86.1%) and 198 (95.2%) of the screened dogs at the beginning and end of the phlebotomine season, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:The association between ELISA positivity and clinical signs suggests its usefulness to confirm a clinical suspicion. CS nPCR seems to be an effective and non-invasive method for assessing early exposure to the parasite. PB nPCR should not be used as the sole diagnostic tool to monitor Leishmania infection. The correlation between the levels of antibodies to P. perniciosus saliva and Leishmania antibodies suggests the use of a humoral response to sand fly salivary antigens as biomarkers of L. infantum infection.
Project description:Sand flies are hematophagous arthropods that act as vectors of Leishmania parasites. When hosts are bitten they develop cellular and humoral responses against sand fly saliva. A positive correlation has been observed between the number of bites and antibody levels indicating that anti-saliva antibody response can be used as marker of exposure to sand flies. Little is known about kinetics of antibodies against Phlebotomus perniciosus salivary gland homogenate (SGH) or recombinant salivary proteins (rSP). This work focused on the study of anti-P. perniciosus saliva antibodies in sera of mice and rabbits that were experimentally exposed to the bites of uninfected sand flies.Anti-saliva antibodies were evaluated by ELISA and Western blot. In addition, antibody levels against two P. perniciosus rSP, apyrase rSP01B and D7 related protein rSP04 were determined in mice sera. Anti-saliva antibody levels increased along the immunizations and correlated with the number of sand fly bites. Anti-SGH antibody levels were detected in sera of mice five weeks after exposure, and persisted for at least three months. Anti-apyrase rSP01B antibodies followed similar kinetic responses than anti-SGH antibodies while rSP04 showed a delayed response and exhibited a greater variability among sera of immunized mice. In rabbits, anti-saliva antibodies appeared after the second week of exposure and IgG antibodies persisted at high levels, even 7 months post-exposure.Our results contributed to increase the knowledge on the type of immune response P. perniciosus saliva and individual proteins elicited highlighting the use of rSP01B as an epidemiological marker of exposure. Anti-saliva kinetics in sera of experimentally bitten rabbits were studied for the first time. Results with rabbit model provided useful information for a better understanding of the anti-saliva antibody levels found in wild leporids in the human leishmaniasis focus in the Madrid region, Spain.
Project description:BACKGROUND:This report describes L. infantum infection seroprevalence in dogs in Spain through data obtained from peer-reviewed literature and a cross-sectional serological survey assessing epidemiological and habitat variables as risk factors for infection. The study also provides preliminary sand fly species distribution data and indicates factors affecting their distribution and density. METHODS:Three different studies were conducted in Spain: (i) a peer-reviewed literature seroprevalence survey (1985-2019); (ii) a cross-sectional serological survey (2011-2016); and (iii) a preliminary entomological survey (2013-2014). In the cross-sectional serological survey, 1739 dogs from 74 different locations including 25 Spanish provinces were tested for L. infantum by indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) (antibody titre???1:100). Seroprevalence of L. infantum infection was analysed by province and bioclimatic zone. Statistics were used to analyse relationships between several dog- and environment-related variables and L. infantum seroprevalence. In parallel, during 2013-2014, sand flies were collected across the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands using CDC light traps to examine relationships between habitat-related factors and sand fly species densities (number of sand flies per trap per hour). RESULTS:The literature review revealed that the provinces showing the highest seroprevalence were Balearic Islands (57.1%), Ourense (35.6%), Málaga (34.6%) and Cáceres (34.2%), and those showing the lowest seroprevalence were Vizcaya (0%), Cantabria (2.0%) and Álava (3.3%). In our survey, anti-Leishmania IgG antibodies were detected in 176 of the 1739 dogs rendering a seroprevalence of 10.12%. Percentage seroprevalence distributions significantly varied among bioclimatic belts. Seropositivity for L. infantum was related to size (large breed dogs versus small) and were significantly higher in younger dogs (??1 years-old). In the entomological survey, 676 sand flies of five species were captured: 562 (83.13%) Phlebotomus perniciosus; 64 (9.47%) Sergentomyia minuta; 38 (5.62%) P. ariasi: 6 (0.89%) P. sergenti; and 6 (0.89%) P. papatasi. Phlebotomus perniciosus showed a greater density in the thermo-Mediterranean than in the meso-Mediterranean zone. Densities of S. minuta and P. ariasi were significantly higher in rural habitats. CONCLUSIONS:This updated seroprevalence map of L. infantum infection in dogs in Spain defines non-endemic, hypoendemic, endemic and hyperendemic areas, and confirms P. perniciosus as the most abundant sand fly vector in Spain.
Project description:Immunity to a sand fly salivary protein protects against visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in hamsters. This protection was associated with the development of cellular immunity in the form of a delayed-type hypersensitivity response and the presence of IFN-gamma at the site of sand fly bites. To date, there are no data available regarding the cellular immune response to sand fly saliva in dogs, the main reservoirs of VL in Latin America, and its role in protection from this fatal disease. Two of 35 salivary proteins from the vector sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis, identified using a novel approach termed reverse antigen screening, elicited strong cellular immunity in dogs. Immunization with either molecule induced high IgG(2) antibody levels and significant IFN-gamma production following in vitro stimulation of PBMC with salivary gland homogenate (SGH). Upon challenge with uninfected or infected flies, immunized dogs developed a cellular response at the bite site characterized by lymphocytic infiltration and IFN-gamma and IL-12 expression. Additionally, SGH-stimulated lymphocytes from immunized dogs efficiently killed Leishmania infantum chagasi within autologous macrophages. Certain sand fly salivary proteins are potent immunogens obligatorily co-deposited with Leishmania parasites during transmission. Their inclusion in an anti-Leishmania vaccine would exploit anti-saliva immunity following an infective sand fly bite and set the stage for a protective anti-Leishmania immune response.
Project description:Sand fly salivary proteins are on the spotlight to become vaccine candidates against leishmaniasis and to markers of exposure to sand fly bites due to the host immune responses they elicit. Working with the whole salivary homogenate entails serious drawbacks such as the need for maintaining sand fly colonies and the laborious task of glands dissection. In order to overcome these difficulties, producing recombinant proteins of different vectors has become a major task. In this study, a cDNA library was constructed with the salivary glands of Phlebotomus perniciosus from Madrid, Spain, the most widespread vector of Leishmania infantum in the Mediterranean basin. Analysis of the cDNA sequences showed several polymorphisms among the previously described salivary transcripts. The apyrase SP01B and the D7-related protein SP04 were successfully cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified. Besides, recombinant proteins were recognized by sera of hamsters and mice previously immunized with saliva through the exposure to uninfected sand fly bites. These results suggest that these two recombinant proteins conserved their immunogenic properties after expression in a prokaryote system. Therefore, this work contributes to expand the knowledge of P. perniciosus saliva that would be eventually used for the development of tools for vector control programs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis (CVL) is a zoonotic disease caused by Leishmania infantum, transmitted by the bite of Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies. Dogs are the main domestic reservoir of the parasite. The establishment of an experimental model that partially reproduces natural infection in dogs is very important to test vaccine candidates, mainly regarding those that use salivary proteins from the vector and new therapeutical approaches. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this report, we describe an experimental infection in dogs, using intradermal injection of Leishmania infantum plus salivary gland homogenate (SGH) of Lutzomyia longipalpis. Thirty-five dogs were infected with 1×10(7) parasites combined with five pairs of Lutzomyia longipalpis salivary glands and followed for 450 days after infection and clinical, immunological and parasitological parameters were evaluated. Two hundred and ten days after infection we observed that 31,4% of dogs did not display detectable levels of anti-Leishmania antibodies but all presented different numbers of parasites in the lymph nodes. Animals with a positive xenodiagnosis had at least 3,35×10(5) parasites in their lymph nodes. An increase of IFN-? and IL-10 levels was detected during infection. Twenty two percent of dogs developed symptoms of CVL during infection. CONCLUSION: The infection model described here shows some degree of similarity when compared with naturally infected dogs opening new perspectives for the study of CVL using an experimental model that employs the combination of parasites and sand fly saliva both present during natural transmission.