The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize soluble parasite antigens present in sera from humans infected with the filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti. Affinity chromatography and immunoblot methods were used to demonstrate a 200,000 m.w. circulating parasite antigen in sera from infected humans which corresponded to an antigen released by adult W. bancrofti during in vitro culture. Two monoclonal antibodies were produced to this antigen by immunizing mice with antigens from Dirofilaria immitis, a filarial parasite that is closely related to W. bancrofti, and screening cell fusion supernatants by enzyme immunoassay and counterimmunoelectrophoresis inhibition. The antibodies bound to a single repeated epitope (not phosphorylcholine) that was resistant to heat, acid, and protease treatments but sensitive to periodate oxidation. Immunoperoxidase studies showed that the epitope was concentrated in the cuticle and reproductive organs in D. immitis, and it was released in relatively large amounts by adult female D. immitis in vitro. The epitope is also present in antigens of other species of filarial and nonfilarial nematodes, but on the basis of preliminary studies, its presence in human serum appears to be specific for W. bancrofti infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3035-3041
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1987


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