Volume 94, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



causes life-long disease after infection and leads to cardiac disease in 30% of infected individuals. After infection, the parasites are readily detectable in the blood during the first few days before disseminating to infect numerous cell types. Preliminary data suggested that the Tc24 protein that localizes to the membrane during all life stages possesses B-cell superantigenic properties. These antigens facilitate immune escape by interfering with antibody-mediated responses, particularly the avoidance of catalytic antibodies. These antibodies are an innate host defense mechanism present in the naive repertoire, and catalytic antibody–antigen binding results in hydrolysis of the target. We tested the B-cell superantigenic properties of Tc24 by comparing the degree of Tc24 hydrolysis by IgM purified from either Tc24 unexposed or exposed mice and humans. Respective samples were subjected to sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, silver stained, and the degree of hydrolysis was measured. Data presented in this report suggest that the Tc24 is a B-cell superantigen based on the observations that 1) Tc24 was hydrolyzed by IgM present in serum of unexposed mice and humans and 2) exposure to Tc24 eliminated catalytic activity as early as 4 days after infection.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 15 Jun 2015
  • Accepted : 09 Oct 2015

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