RESULTS: Yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) experiment was used to identify the binding partners of surface antigens of T. gondii by using SAG2 as bait. Colony PCR was performed and positive clones were sent for sequencing to confirm their identity. The yeast plasmids for true positive clones were rescued by transformation into E. coli TOP 10F' cells. The interplay between bait and prey was confirmed by β-galactosidase assay and co-immunoprecipitation experiment. We detected 20 clones interacting with SAG2 based on a series of the selection procedures. Following the autoactivation and toxicity tests, SAG2 was proven to be a suitable candidate as a bait. Thirteen clones were further examined by small scale Y2H experiment. The results indicated that a strong interaction existed between Homo sapiens zinc finger protein and SAG2, which could activate the expressions of the reporter genes in diploid yeast. Co-immunoprecipitation experiment result indicated the binding between this prey and SAG2 protein was significant (Mann-Whitney U-test: Z = -1.964, P = 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Homo sapiens zinc finger protein was found to interact with SAG2. To improve the understanding of this prey protein's function, advanced investigations need to be carried out.
METHODS: Forty full-length pktrap sequences from clinical isolates of Malaysia along with the reference H-strain were downloaded from published databases. Genetic diversity, polymorphism, haplotype and natural selection were determined using DnaSP 5.10 software. McDonald-Kreitman test was conducted using P. vivax and Plasmodium coatneyi as ortholog sequence in DnaSP 5.10 software. Population genetic differentiation index (FST) of parasite populations was determined using Arlequin v3.5. Phylogenetic relationships between trap ortholog genes were determined using MEGA 5.0 software.
RESULTS: Comparison of 40 full-length pktrap sequences along with the H-strain identified 74 SNPs (53 non-synonymous and 21 synonymous substitutions) resulting in 29 haplotypes. Analysis of the full-length gene showed that the nucleotide diversity was lower compared to its nearest ortholog pvtrap. Domain-wise analysis indicated that the proline/asparagine rich region had higher nucleotide diversity compared to the von Willebrand factor domain and the thrombospondin-type-1 domain. McDonald-Kreitman test identified that the ratio of the number of nonsynonymous to synonymous polymorphic sites within P. knowlesi was significantly higher than that of the number of nonsynonymous to synonymous fixed sites between P. knowlesi and P. vivax. The von Willebrand factor domain also indicated balancing selection using MK test, however, it did not give significant results when tested with P. coatneyi as an outgroup. Phylogenetic analysis of full-length genes identified three distinct sub-clusters of P. knowlesi, one originating from Peninsular Malaysia and two originating from Malaysian Borneo. High population differentiation values was observed within samples from Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo.
CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to report on the genetic diversity and natural selection of full-length pktrap. Low level of genetic diversity was found across the full-length gene of pktrap. Balancing selection of the von Willebrand factor domain indicated that TRAP could be a target in inducing immune response against P. knowlesi infections. However, higher number of samples would be necessary to further confirm the findings.
RESULTS: In the erythrocyte-binding assay, binding level was determined by scoring the number of rosettes that were formed by erythrocytes surrounding transfected mammalian COS-7 cells which expressed PkDBPαII. The assay result revealed a significant difference in the binding level. The number of rosettes scored for Fya+/b+ was 1.64-fold higher than that of Fya+/b- (155.50 ± 34.32 and 94.75 ± 23.16 rosettes, respectively; t(6) = -2.935, P = 0.026).
CONCLUSIONS: The erythrocyte-binding assay provided a simple approach to quantitatively determine the binding level of PkDBPαII to the erythrocyte Duffy antigen. Using this assay, PkDBPαII was found to display higher binding to Fya+/b+ erythrocytes than to Fya+/b- erythrocytes.
METHODS: SfSAG2 and SfSAG3 genes were isolated from S. falcatula and expressed in Escherichia coli expression system. A total of 348 serum samples [volunteers from both islands (n = 100), non-Sarcocystis parasitic infections patients (n = 50) and healthy donors (n = 100)] were collected and tested with purified SfSAGs in Western blot and ELISA assays to measure the seroprevalence of human sarcocystosis.
RESULTS: None of the sera in this study reacted with rSfSAG2 by Western blot and ELISA. For rSfSAG3, relatively high prevalence of sarcocystosis was observed in Tioman Island (75.5%) than in Pangkor Island (34%) by Western blot. In ELISA, the different prevalence rate was observed between Tioman Island (43.8%) and Pangkor Island (37%). The prevalence rate in other parasitic infections (amoebiasis, cysticercosis, filariasis, malaria, toxocariasis and toxoplasmosis) was 30% by Western blot and 26% by ELISA. Only 8% (by Western blot) and 10% (by ELISA) of healthy donors showed reactivity towards rSfSAG3.
CONCLUSION: This is the first study reporting a seroprevalence of sarcocystosis in Pangkor and Tioman Islands, Malaysia. The combination of Western blot and ELISA is suitable to be used for serodiagnosis of sarcocystosis. With further evaluations, SfSAG3 can potentially be used to confirm infection, asymptomatic screening, surveillance and epidemiological studies.