Volume 58, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Antibodies reactive with the core glycan of asialoganglioside (GA1), monosialoganglioside (GM1), and disialoganglioside (GD1a) were studied in human sera. In healthy individuals, GA1-, GM1-, and GD1a-reactive antibodies were mainly of the IgM class, but also of the IgA and IgG classes, and were present at low titers in the serum of 68%, 79%, and 91% of the individuals studied, respectively. Levels of anti-GA1 and anti-GM1 antibodies, mainly of the IgA and IgG classes, were significantly elevated (P < 0.001) in 62% and 72% of subjects, respectively, chronically infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, with no association found with the degree of myocardial damage. No significant increase in anti-GA1 and anti-GM1 antibodies was found in dilated cardiomyopathy patients. The level of anti-GD1a antibody was not significantly different between healthy controls and chronic chagasic or dilatatory cardiomyopathy patients. Since the peripheral nervous system is very rich in gangliosides, it is possible that the increases in GA1- and GM1-specific antibodies that develop during chronic T. cruzi infection are involved in the pathology of peripheral neuropathy in Chagas' disease.


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