Idiotypic/Anti-Idiotypic Interactions in Schistosomiasis and Chagas' Disease

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  • * Departamentos de Bioquímica e Imunologia e de
  • Medicina Clínica, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Centro de Pesquisas “René Rachou,” FIOCRUZ, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • § Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and VA Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Immunoaffinity-purified antibodies against soluble Schistosoma mansoni egg antigens (SEA) were isolated from the sera of patients with schistosomiasis mansoni. Similarly, antibodies against Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigote antigens were obtained from sera of patients with Chagas' disease. These antibody preparations were used in culture to demonstrate the presence of anti-idiotypic T lymphocytes in peripheral blood mononuclear cell preparations from patients with either schistosomiasis mansoni or Chagas' disease, or with both of these infections. Only cells from patients with schistosomiasis or both infections proliferated upon exposure to the anti-SEA antibodies. Conversely, only cells from patients with Chagas' disease or both infections responded to anti-epimastigote antibodies. Western blot analysis of SEA and epimastigote antigens, developed by patients' sera or by immunoaffinity-purified antibody preparations, substantiated that anti-SEA immunoaffinity-purified antibodies only reacted with components of SEA, and anti-epimastigote immunoaffinity-purified antibodies only reacted with components of epimastigote antigenic preparation. These studies demonstrate the presence of anti-idiotypic T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of patients with schistosomiasis or Chagas' disease which are specific for idiotypes generated during these infections.

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