We have developed a serologically based immunophenotyping approach to study Onchocerca volvulus (Ov) population diversity. Using genomic sequence data and polymerase chain reaction-based genotyping, we identified nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes of 16 major immunogenic Ov proteins: Ov-CHI-1/Ov-CHI-2, Ov16, Ov-FAR-1, Ov-CPI-1, Ov-B20, Ov-ASP-1, Ov-TMY-1, OvSOD1, OvGST1, Ov-CAL-1, M3/M4, Ov-RAL-1, Ov-RAL-2, Ov-ALT-1, Ov-FBA-1, and Ov-B8. We assessed the immunoreactivity of onchocerciasis patient sera (n = 152) from the Americas, West Africa, Central Africa, and East Africa against peptides derived from 10 of these proteins containing SNPs. Statistically significant variation in immunoreactivity among the regions was seen in SNP-containing peptides derived from 8 of 10 proteins tested: OVOC1192(1-15), OVOC9988(28-42), OVOC9225(320-334), OVOC7453(22-36), OVOC11517(14-28), OVOC3177(283-297), OVOC7911(594-608), and OVOC12628(174-188). Our data show that differences in immunoreactivity to variant antigenic peptides may be used to characterize Ov populations, thereby elucidating features of Ov population biology previously inaccessible because of the limited availability of parasite material.
- Onchocerca volvulus
- population biology
- single nucleotide polymorphism