Volume 41, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To identify target antigens in overt Chagas' heart disease, a parasite λgt11 cDNA library was screened with the serum of a patient with a severe chagasic heart involvement (JL). Using a phage dot array immunoassay, 5 highly antigenic clones, JL1, JL5, JL7, JL8, and JL9, were probed with sera from clinically characterized infected subjects. The correlation of cloned antigen recognition with the clinical status of the subjects led to the identification of a recombinant antigen, JL5, that reacted predominantly with sera from patients with Chagas' heart disease. The antigenic determinant of the JL5 recombinant was a small 35 amino acid peptide. The nucleotide and the deduced amino acid sequence, together with other experimental data, allowed identification as the C-terminal portion of a P ribosomal protein. The C-terminal undecapeptide in JL5, EDDDMGFGLFD, was highly homologous to the same region of the human P protein SD(D/E)DMGFGLFD. The latter sequence has been identified as the P protein epitope in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Positive SLE sera reacted with the JL5 recombinant phage, suggesting that the P protein might induce antibodies with a similar specificity to that of P antibodies in SLE.


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