Antigenicity and specificity of very low molecular weight Onchocerca volvulus polypeptides in the range 2.2–12.5 kD
Onchocerca volvulus polypeptides in the molecular mass range of 2.2 to 12.5 kD were separated by Tricine-SDS-PAGE and the serological recognition of these very low molecular weight antigens (VLMW-OvAg) was then investigated by immuno-blotting. Sera from 21 onchocerciasis patients as well as from 53 individuals with other filariases were used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of detection of individual VLMW-OvAg. In onchocerciasis patients, up to 16 VLMW-OvAg were recognized predominantly by IgG1 and IgG4, while only few antigens were recognized by IgG2 and IgG3. The antigen recognition pattern varied individually, but 4 VLMW-OvAg of 8.6, 6.2, 5.4, and 5.1 kD, respectively, were bound by IgG4 from more than 90% of the onchocerciasis patients. Six VLMW-OvAg of 7.3, 5.8, 5.4, 4.0, 3.8, and 3.6 kD were recognized exclusively by IgG1 from onchocerciasis patients. In amicrofilaraemic filariasis patients with lymphatic pathology, a strong reactivity of IgG3 to an OvAg of 2.2 kD was observed, indicating a possible contribution of this antigen to the pathogenesis. In the molecular mass range below 13 kD, no specific carbohydrate residues or phosphorylcholine-containing (PC) determinants could be identified by lectin-blotting or PC-specific immunoblotting, respectively. Two-dimensional separation and immunoblotting distinctly resolved more than 40 antigenic polypeptides, the majority focusing at acidic isoelectric points. In O. volvulus-infected chimpanzees the IgG1- and IgG4-reactivity against OvAg below 13 kD appeared concurrently with onset of patent infection. These data suggest that some of these VLMW-OvAg might be associated with the production and release of microfilariae from gravid female worms as well as be involved in immune-mediated pathogenesis during filarial infections.
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Document Type: Original Article
Affiliations: Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
Publication date: 1997-07-01