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IDENTIFICATION OF A HOMOLOGUE OF A HOUSE DUST MITE ALLERGEN IN A cDNA LIBRARY FROM SARCOPTES SCABIEI VAR. HOMINIS AND EVALUATION OF ITS VACCINE POTENTIAL IN A RABBIT/S. SCABIEI VAR. CANIS MODEL

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  • 1 Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio; The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; and Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
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Sarcoptes scabiei (“itch mite”) causes scabies, a disease of considerable human and veterinary significance. Little work has been done at the molecular level because of the difficulty of obtaining mites. We have used mites in skin from the bedding of crusted scabies patients for the construction of a library of 10 cDNAs from S. scabiei var. hominis cloned in the vector pGEX4T-2. We describe the isolation by immunoscreening of 2 clones, one of which (Ssag1) is homologous to and cross-reactive with the house dust mite Euroglyphus maynei allergen M-177, an apolipoprotein from hemolymph. Immunohistochemistry revealed that it is located around the internal organs and cuticle of the mite and in eggs. Although it was not found to be protective in a challenge trial, the rabbits did not exhibit typical crust characteristics. This work shows that it is now possible to conduct such challenge trials with cloned scabies antigens.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Bart J. Currie, Menzies School of Health Research, P.O. Box 41096, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia, Telephone: 61-8-89228196, Fax: 61-8-89275187, E-mail: bart@menzies.edu.au
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