A cDNA library representative of adult Schistosoma mansoni mRNA populations was screened with serum from infected rats (refractory hosts), positive plaques being rescreened with serum from infected mice and humans. Based on general reactivity, one clone was selected for further study. As judged by immunofluorescence data, size of corresponding mRNA, and nucleotide sequence analysis, the recombinant expresses approximately 625 amino acids of a schistosome muscle myosin rod. Antibodies evoked by the protein do not cross-react with human cardiac or skeletal muscle, are not invariably stimulated in naturally infected human beings, and rise in titer after chemotherapeutic cure, findings which suggest that the antigen is not a causative agent of Katayama fever, and is probably presented by degenerating worms. The schistosome myosin gene, the most primitive examined to date, appears to be unique inasmuch as it may not be a member of a multigene family and encodes a single mRNA transcript; nonetheless, predicted higher order structure of its translation product is consistent with expected function.
- Schistosoma mansoni