Molecular and immunogenic properties of apyrase SP01B and D7-related SP04 recombinant salivary proteins of Phlebotomus perniciosus from Madrid, Spain.
ABSTRACT: 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: 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>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: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: 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:Individuals exposed to sand fly bites develop humoral and cellular immune responses to sand fly salivary proteins. Moreover, cellular immunity to saliva or distinct salivary proteins protects against leishmaniasis in various animal models. In Tbilisi, Georgia, an endemic area for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), sand flies are abundant for a short period of ?3 months. Here, we demonstrate that humans and dogs residing in Tbilisi have little immunological memory to saliva of P. kandelakii, the principal vector of VL. Only 30% of humans and 50% of dogs displayed a weak antibody response to saliva after the end of the sand fly season. Likewise, their peripheral blood mononuclear cells mounted a negligible cellular immune response after stimulation with saliva. RNA seq analysis of wild-caught P. kandelakii salivary glands established the presence of a typical salivary repertoire that included proteins commonly found in other sand fly species such as the yellow, SP15 and apyrase protein families. This indicates that the absence of immunity to P. kandelakii saliva in humans and dogs from Tbilisi is probably caused by insufficient exposure to sand fly bites. This absence of immunity to vector saliva will influence the dynamics of VL transmission in Tbilisi and other endemic areas with brief sand fly seasons.
Project description:Phlebotomus perniciosus (Diptera: Phlebotominae) is a medically and veterinary important insect vector. It transmits the unicellular parasite Leishmania infantum that multiplies intracellularly in macrophages causing life-threatening visceral diseases. Leishmania establishment in the vertebrate host is substantially influenced by immunomodulatory properties of vector saliva that are obligatorily co-injected into the feeding site. The repertoire of P. perniciosus salivary molecules has already been revealed and, subsequently, several salivary proteins have been expressed. However, their immunogenic properties have never been studied. In our study, we tested three P. perniciosus recombinant salivary proteins-an apyrase rSP01 and yellow-related proteins rSP03 and rSP03B-and showed their anti-inflammatory nature on the murine bone-marrow derived macrophages. Even in the presence of pro-inflammatory stimuli (IFN-? and bacterial lipopolysaccharide, LPS), all three recombinant proteins inhibited nitric oxide production. Moreover, rSP03 seems to have a very strong anti-inflammatory effect since it enhanced arginase activity, increased the production of IL-10, and inhibited the production of TNF-? even in macrophages stimulated with IFN-? and LPS. These results suggest that P. perniciosus apyrase and yellow-related proteins may serve as enhancing factors in sand fly saliva, facilitating the development of Leishmania infection along with their anti-haemostatic properties. Additionally, rSP03 and rSP03B did not elicit the delayed-type hypersensitivity response in mice pre-exposed to P. perniciosus bites (measured as visible skin reaction). The results of our study may help to understand the potential function of recombinant's native counterparts and their role in Leishmania transmission and establishment within the host.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Phlebotomus orientalis is a vector of Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of life threatening visceral leishmaniasis spread in Eastern Africa. During blood-feeding, sand fly females salivate into the skin of the host. Sand fly saliva contains a large variety of proteins, some of which elicit specific antibody responses in the bitten hosts. To evaluate the exposure to sand fly bites in human populations from disease endemic areas, we tested the antibody reactions of volunteers' sera against recombinant P. orientalis salivary antigens. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Recombinant proteins derived from sequence data on P. orientalis secreted salivary proteins, were produced using either bacterial (five proteins) or mammalian (four proteins) expression systems and tested as antigens applicable for detection of anti-P. orientalis IgG in human sera. Using these recombinant proteins, human sera from Sudan and Ethiopia, countries endemic for visceral leishmaniasis, were screened by ELISA and immunoblotting to identify the potential markers of exposure to P. orientalis bites. Two recombinant proteins; mAG5 and mYEL1, were identified as the most promising antigens showing high correlation coefficients as well as good specificity in comparison to the whole sand fly salivary gland homogenate. Combination of both proteins led to a further increase of correlation coefficients as well as both positive and negative predictive values of P. orientalis exposure. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:This is the first report of screening human sera for anti-P. orientalis antibodies using recombinant salivary proteins. The recombinant salivary proteins mYEL1 and mAG5 proved to be valid antigens for screening human sera from both Sudan and Ethiopia for exposure to P. orientalis bites. The utilization of equal amounts of these two proteins significantly increased the capability to detect anti-P. orientalis antibody responses.
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:Leishmania parasites are transmitted to their vertebrate hosts by infected phlebotomine sand fly bites. Sand fly saliva is known to enhance Leishmania infection, while immunity to the saliva protects against infection as determined by coinoculation of parasites with vector salivary gland homogenates (SGHs) or by infected sand fly bites (Kamhawi, S., Y. Belkaid, G. Modi, E. Rowton, and D. Sacks. 2000. Science. 290:1351-1354). We have now characterized nine salivary proteins of Phlebotomus papatasi, the vector of Leishmania major. One of these salivary proteins, extracted from SDS gels and having an apparent mol wt of 15 kD, was able to protect vaccinated mice challenged with parasites plus SGH. A DNA vaccine containing the cDNA for the predominant 15-kD protein (named SP15) provided this same protection. Protection lasted at least 3 mo after immunization. The vaccine produced both intense humoral and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions. B cell-deficient mice immunized with the SP15 plasmid vaccine successfully controlled Leishmania infection when injected with Leishmania plus SGH. These results indicate that DTH response against saliva provides most or all of the protective effects of this vaccine and that salivary gland proteins or their cDNAs are viable vaccine targets against leishmaniasis.
Project description:Sand fly saliva plays an important role in blood feeding and Leishmania transmission as it was shown to increase parasite virulence. On the other hand, immunity to salivary components impedes the establishment of infection. Therefore, it is most desirable to gain a deeper insight into the composition of saliva in sand fly species which serve as vectors of various forms of leishmaniases. In the present work, we focused on Phlebotomus (Adlerius) arabicus, which was recently shown to transmit Leishmania tropica, the causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Israel.A cDNA library from salivary glands of P. arabicus females was constructed and transcripts were sequenced and analyzed. The most abundant protein families identified were SP15-like proteins, ParSP25-like proteins, D7-related proteins, yellow-related proteins, PpSP32-like proteins, antigen 5-related proteins, and 34 kDa-like proteins. Sequences coding for apyrases, hyaluronidase and other putative secreted enzymes were also represented, including endonuclease, phospholipase, pyrophosphatase, amylase and trehalase. Mass spectrometry analysis confirmed the presence of 20 proteins predicted to be secreted in the salivary proteome. Humoral response of mice bitten by P. arabicus to salivary antigens was assessed and many salivary proteins were determined to be antigenic.This transcriptomic analysis of P. arabicus salivary glands is the first description of salivary proteins of a sand fly in the subgenus Adlerius. Proteomic analysis of P. arabicus salivary glands produced the most comprehensive account in a single sand fly species to date. Detailed information and phylogenetic relationships of the salivary proteins are provided, expanding the knowledge base of molecules that are likely important factors of sand fly-host and sand fly-Leishmania interactions. Enzymatic and immunological investigations further demonstrate the value of functional transcriptomics in advancing biological and epidemiological research that can impact leishmaniasis.