Toxoplasmosis can cause serious disease in immunocompromised patients and to congenitally infected foetuses. Appropriate laboratory investigations in potential cases of acute Toxoplasma infection are important. Excretory secretory antigen (ESA) is immunogenic during both human and experimental infections, therefore is considered as a good candidate for investigation into new infection markers. In this study, ESA was prepared from in vitro cultures of Toxoplasma gondii to identify T. gondii ESA antigenic component(s) that is/are most reactive with serum samples from probable acute cases of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples were obtained from several categories of individuals with the following Toxoplasma serology: Group I: IgM+ IgG+ (low IgG avidity) or IgM+ IgG- from sera of patients who had clinical query of toxoplasmosis (n=35). Group II: IgM- IgG+ (high IgG avidity) from chronically infected individuals (n=30). Group III: normal/healthy individuals with anti-Toxoplasma IgMIgG- (n=20). Group IV: individuals with other infections who had anti-Toxoplasma IgM- IgG- (n=10). The ESA was subjected to SDS-PAGE, followed by Western blot analysis using the above sera and probed with peroxidase conjugated anti-human IgM and IgA antibodies. The blots were then developed using chemiluminescence substrate. The selected antigenic band was excised from the gel after two dimensional electrophoresis and sent for mass spectrometry analysis using MALDI TOF-TOF. The most promising antigenic band was a 10 kDa protein which showed sensitivity of 80% in both IgM and IgA blots, and specificity of 96.7% with sera from other infections and healthy controls. The two best identifications for the 10 kDa band were ubiquitin (ribosomal protein CEP52 fusion protein) and polyubiquitin.
Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic disease and a public health problem, particularly in tropical and subtropical countries. Varied clinical manifestations of the disease frequently lead to misdiagnosis resulting in life-threatening multi-organ complications. Therefore, early laboratory investigation using an appropriate diagnostic approach is crucial. In the present study, a potential protein marker was identified and evaluated for its usefulness in the serodiagnosis of acute leptospirosis.
Helicobacter pylori is a human pathogen and during the process of infection, antigens from the bacterium elicit strong host humoral immune responses. In our previous report, native H. pylori UreG protein showed good reactivity with sera from H. pylori patients. This study was aimed at producing the recombinant form of the protein (rUreG) and determining its seroreactivities.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) caused by infection with Echinococcus granulosus is of major concern for humans in many parts of the world. Antigen B was prepared from E. granulosus hydatid fluid, and Western blots confirmed eight batches showing a band corresponding to the 8-/12-kDa subunit with positive serum and no low-molecular mass band (< 15 kDa) with negative serum. The batches were pooled and used to prepare lateral flow immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) and IgG dipsticks. Diagnostic sensitivity was determined using serum samples from 21 hydatidosis patients, and diagnostic specificity was established using sera from 17 individuals infected with other parasites and 15 healthy people. IgG4 dipstick had a diagnostic sensitivity of 95% (20 of 21) and a specificity of 100% (32 of 32). The IgG dipstick had a sensitivity of 100% (21 of 21) and a specificity of 87.5% (28 of 32). Thus, both IgG and IgG4 dipsticks had high sensitivities, but IgG4 had greater specificity for the diagnosis of human CE.
Helicobacter pylori antigen was prepared from an isolate from a patient with a duodenal ulcer. Serum samples were obtained from culture-positive H. pylori infected patients with duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers and gastritis (n=30). As controls, three kinds of sera without detectable H. pylori IgG antibodies were used: 30 from healthy individuals without history of gastric disorders, 30 from patients who were seen in the endoscopy clinic but were H. pylori culture negative and 30 from people with other diseases. OFF-GEL electrophoresis, SDS-PAGE and Western blots of individual serum samples were used to identify protein bands with good sensitivity and specificity when probed with the above sera and HRP-conjugated anti-human IgG. Four H. pylori protein bands showed good (≥ 70%) sensitivity and high specificity (98-100%) towards anti-Helicobacter IgG antibody in culture- positive patients sera and control sera, respectively. The identities of the antigenic proteins were elucidated by mass spectrometry. The relative molecular weights and the identities of the proteins, based on MALDI TOF/ TOF, were as follows: CagI (25 kDa), urease G accessory protein (25 kDa), UreB (63 kDa) and proline/pyrroline- 5-carboxylate dehydrogenase (118 KDa). These identified proteins, singly and/or in combinations, may be useful for diagnosis of H. pylori infection in patients.
Hydatidosis is a public health problem in many parts of the world, and improvement in diagnosis of the disease is still being pursued. Protoscoleces of Echinococcus granulosus were isolated from hydatid cysts collected from naturally infected sheep slaughtered in abattoirs in Iran. Sonicated extract of protoscolex was subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Western blot analysis. Primary antibodies were from serum samples from 130 hydatidosis patients, 38 individuals infected with other parasitic infections, and 30 healthy people, whereas peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated anti-human IgG and IgG4 were used as secondary antibodies. The recombinant form of the identified protein was produced and tested for its sensitivity and specificity for the detection of human hydatidosis. An antigenic band of ∼60 kDa was found to be sensitive (82%) and specific (100%) for the detection of hydatidosis when probed with anti-human IgG4-HRP, while the sensitivity and specificity were 33 and 100%, respectively, with anti-human IgG-HRP. By mass spectrometry, the band was identified as protoscolex tegument paramyosin. The sensitivity and specificity of full-length paramyosin-recombinant protein in IgG4 blots were found to be 86 and 98%, respectively. In conclusion, IgG4 detection of Echinococcus granulosus paramyosin was found to be useful for the diagnosis of human hydatidosis.