Identification of a Genus-Specific Schistosoma mansoni Soluble Egg Antigen Reactive with the Serum of Infected Patients

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  • 1 Laboratory of Parasite Immunology, Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
  • * Bilharzia Clinic, University Hospital, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, GPO Box 5067, San Juan, Puerto Rico

The ability of serum samples obtained from humans with schistosomiasis mansoni to recognize Schistosoma mansoni soluble egg antigens (SmSEA) was assessed by the enzyme-linked immunotransfer blot (EITB) method. The sera from 15 infected patients before and 2 years after treatment with oxamniquine (n = 30) recognized bands ranging in molecular weight from 9 to 200 Kd. A 31 Kd component of SmSEA was recognized by all infection sera, but not by normal human serum. The sera from 2 humans infected with S. haematobium and 2 with S. japonicum also recognized the 31 Kd band present in SmSEA, whereas those from 2 humans infected with Fasciola hepatica did not. The 31 Kd antigen was isolated by electrophoresing SmSEA through a 15% SDS-acrylamide gel, followed by excision and electroelution of the 31 Kd band. The purified 31 Kd was used in conjunction with ELISA at a concentration of 1 µg/ml to confirm the apparent genus specificity of this protein. Thus, the sera of patients infected with S. mansoni, S. haematobium, or S. japonicum were clearly reactive in ELISA, whereas normal human serum or sera from patients with F. hepatica were negative. In conclusion, the 31 Kd protein appears to be a good candidate for developing a screening assay for the immunodiagnosis of schistosomiasis.