Volume 52, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Human African trypanosomiasis is often associated with an intense proliferation of B lymphocytes, leading to polyclonal antibody synthesis. Using a modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method, we have found highly significant levels of circulating anti-conjugated tryptophan-like epitope antibodies in sera of patients with sleeping sickness. These antibodies were immunoglobulins (Ig) of the M isotype. There was no correlation between immunologic binding and the Ig levels found in sera of patients with human African trypanosomiasis. Higher antibody levels in stage II of the disease than in stage I may be related to damage to the central nervous system. The specificity of this immunologic binding was evaluated by 1) comparison with that obtained with other related conjugates and 2) serum titration. Anti-conjugated tryptophan-like epitope antibodies were not found in other neurologic diseases tested. Their involvement in this pathology remains unknown.


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