Functional and Antigenic Maturation of Brugia malayi Microfilariae

Juliet A. FuhrmanDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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Sandy S. UriosteDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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Bruce HamillDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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Andrew SpielmanDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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Willy F. PiessensDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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Brugia malayi microfilariae of specified ages were obtained from gerbils implanted with fertile adult worms. Such microfilariae were tested for their capacity to infect mosquitoes. A strong age dependence was found for the microfilariae's capacity to: penetrate the mosquito midgut, exsheath in response to 20 mM calcium, and develop to third stage larvae in the mosquito. In addition, differences were found between 2-day-old microfilariae and controls (from larva-infected gerbils) in their reactivities with a series of monoclonal antibodies. Thus, defined immunochemical changes occur in microfilariae as they assume functional maturity.

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