Hevea brasiliensis latex serum is commonly used as the in vivo and in vitro reference antigen for latex allergy diagnosis as it contains the full complement of latex allergens.
This study quantifies the concentrations of the significant allergens in latex serum and examines its suitability as an antigen source in latex allergy diagnosis and immunotherapy.
The serum phase was extracted from centrifuged latex that was repeatedly freeze-thawed or glycerinated. Quantitation of latex allergens was performed by two-site immunoenzymetric assays. The abundance of RNA transcripts of the latex allergens was estimated from the number of their clones in an Expressed Sequence Tags library.
The latex allergens, Hev b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 13, were detected in freeze-thawed and glycerinated latex serum at levels ranging from 75 (Hev b 6) to 0.06 nmol/mg total proteins (Hev b 4). Hev b 6 content in the latex was up to a thousand times higher than the other seven latex allergens, depending on source and/or preparation procedure. Allergen concentration was reflected in the abundance of mRNA transcripts. When used as the antigen, latex serum may bias the outcome of latex allergy diagnostic tests towards sensitization to Hev b 6. Tests that make use of latex serum may fail to detect latex-specific IgE reactivity in subjects who are sensitized only to allergens that are present at low concentrations.
Latex allergy diagnostics and immunotherapy that use whole latex serum as the antigen source may not be optimal because of the marked imbalance of its constituent allergens.
This study was aimed at determining the phospholipase and haemolysin activity of Candida isolates in Malaysia. A total of 37 Candida clinical isolates representing seven species, Candida albicans (12), Candida tropicalis (8), Candida glabrata (4), Candida parapsilosis (1), Candida krusei (4), Candida orthopsilosis (1) and Candida rugosa (7) were tested. In vitro phospholipase activity was determined by using egg yolk plate assay whereas in vitro haemolysin activity was tested by using blood plate assay on sheep blood Sabouraud's dextrose agar (SDA) enriched with glucose. Phospholipase activity was detected in 75% (9 out of 12) of the C. albicans isolates. Among the 25 non- C. albicans Candida isolates, phospholipase activity was detected in only 24% of these isolates. The phospholipase activity of C. albicans was significantly higher than that of the non- C. albicans Candida isolates (P=0.002). Haemolysin activity was detected in 100% of the C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis, and C. orthopsilosis isolates while 75% of the C. krusei isolates and 12.3% of the C. rugosa isolates showed haemolysin activity. The haemolytic activity of C. albicans was significantly higher than that of the non- C. albicans Candida isolates (P=0.0001).The findings in this study indicate that C. albicans isolates in Malaysia may possess greater virulence potential than the non-albicans species.
A convenient acidimetric assay for phospholipase A using egg yolk suspension as substrate has been developed. The substrate mixture consists of 1 part egg yolk, 1 part 8.1 mM sodium deoxycholate, and 1 part 18 mM calcium chloride. Phospholipase A activity is measured by following the initial rate of pH change, which is linear between pH 8.0 and 7.75 and is proportional to enzyme concentration over a wide range. The assay is highly reproducible, with a coefficient of variation of 3%, and as sensitive as most established assays for phospholipase A. The assay uses inexpensive and easily available substrate and is simple to perform. It is particularly useful for monitoring phospholipase A activity in chromatography fractions.
This study compared the enzymatic activity of clinical isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans, Cryptococcus gattii, environmental isolates of C. neoformans and non-neoformans Cryptococcus. Most of the cryptococcal isolates investigated in this study exhibited proteinase and phospholipase activities. Laccase activity was detected from all the C. neoformans and C. gattii isolates, but not from the non-neoformans Cryptococcus isolates. There was no significant difference in the proteinase, phospholipase and laccase activities of C. neoformans and C. gattii. However, significant difference in the enzymatic activities of beta-glucuronidase, alpha-glucosidase, beta-glucosidase and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase between C. neoformans and C. gattii isolates was observed in this study. Environmental isolates of C. neoformans exhibited similar enzymatic profiles as the clinical isolates of C. neoformans, except for lower proteinase and laccase activities.