A rapid and sensitive sandwich electrochemical immunosensor was developed based on the fabrication of the graphene/polyaniline (GP/PANI) nanocomposite onto screen-printed gold electrode (SPGE) for detection of tuberculosis biomarker 10-kDa culture filtrate protein (CFP10). The prepared GP/PANI nanocomposite was characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The chemical bonding and morphology of GP/PANI-modified SPGE were studied by Raman spectroscopy and FESEM coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, respectively. From both studies, it clearly showed that GP/PANI was successfully coated onto SPGE through drop cast technique. Cyclic voltammetry was used to study the electrochemical properties of the modified electrode. The effective surface area for GP/PANI-modified SPGE was enhanced about five times compared with bare SPGE. Differential pulse voltammetry was used to detect the CFP10 antigen. The GP/PANI-modified SPGE that was fortified with sandwich type immunosensor exhibited a wide linear range (20⁻100 ng/mL) with a low detection limit of 15 ng/mL. This proposed electrochemical immunosensor is sensitive, low sample volume, rapid and disposable, which is suitable for tuberculosis detection in real samples.
Human enterovirus 71 has emerged as an important pathogen of children in the Asia Pacific region, and it may be important to consider the development of a vaccine against this virus. Human cord serum was used as a source of neutralizing antibodies to determine whether the N- or C-terminal half of the VP1 capsid protein was more likely to harbour neutralizing determinants. Cord sera from 205 individuals were tested for neutralizing antibodies against human enterovirus 71 in an indirect ELISA against recombinant VP1 antigen as well as the N- and C-terminal portions of VP1 antigen. High-titred human neutralizing antibodies were significantly more reactive with the N-terminal half of VP1 than weak or negative sera. The N-terminal half of human enterovirus 71 is likely to have important neutralizing antibody determinants and should be investigated further in vaccine development efforts.
The linear antigenic epitopes of the Epstein-Barr virus replication activator protein (ZEBRA), recognised by specific serum IgG in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), were determined. This was achieved by synthesizing the entire amino acid sequence of ZEBRA as a set of 29, 22-residue peptides with an overlap of 14 amino acids. The ZEBRA peptides were tested in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IgG binding in sera from 37 selected NPC patients who had IgG antibodies to the native ZEBRA protein. The most immunogenic epitope was peptide 1 at the amino-terminal end with 36 of the sera reactive against it. Further analysis of peptide 1, using the multipin peptide-scanning technique, defined a 10-amino-acid sequence FTPDPYQVPF, which was strongly bound by IgG. Two other regions of ZEBRA were also identified as immunodominant IgG epitopes, namely peptide 11 (amino acids 82-103) and peptide 19/20 (amino acids 146-175) with 8-13 of the NPC sera reactive against the peptides. The number of peptides reactive with individual NPC serum varies from 1 to 6 or more and there is some correlation between a greater number of peptide (at least 4) bound and a higher (at least 1:40) titre of serum IgA to viral capsid antigen. The immunodominant ZEBRA peptide 1 could be utilised in IgG ELISA for the detection of NPC.
An ELISA using the Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA 1) was found to detect selectively specific IgA in sera from patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The antigen, p107, was a 20-amino acid synthetic peptide, representing a major epitope of EBNA 1.267/294 (90.8%) of NPC patients had IgA antibodies to p107 but in normal individuals, only 41/577 (7.1%) had IgA/p107. In sera from patients with other cancers, 11/77 (14.3%) had IgA/p107 reactivity. 124 IgA/VCA positive and 86 IgA/VCA negative NPC sera were also tested for IgA/p107 binding in ELISA. The majority of IgA/VCA positive sera (117) also contained IgA/p107 antibodies. Of interest was the detection of 74/86 IgA/p107 reactive sera in the IgA/VCA negative group. The results suggest that the IgA/p107 ELISA could become a useful, complementary screening assay to the IgA/VCA immunofluorescence test for detection of NPC.
A high incidence of sensitization to Blomia tropicalis, the predominant house dust mite species in tropical regions, is strongly associated with allergic diseases in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brazil. IgE binding to the group 5 allergen, Blo t 5, is found to be the most prevalent among all B. tropicalis allergens. The NMR structure of Blo t 5 determined represents a novel helical bundle structure consisting of three antiparallel alpha-helices. Based on the structure and sequence alignment with other known group 5 dust mite allergens, surface-exposed charged residues have been identified for site-directed mutagenesis and IgE binding assays. Four charged residues, Glu76, Asp81, Glu86, and Glu91 at around the turn region connecting helices alpha2 and alpha3 have been identified to be involved in the IgE binding. Using overlapping peptides, we have confirmed that these charged residues are located on a major putative linear IgE epitope of Blo t 5 from residues 76-91 comprising the sequence ELKRTDLNILERFNYE. Triple and quadruple mutants have been generated and found to exhibit significantly lower IgE binding and reduced responses in skin prick tests. The mutants induced similar PBMC proliferation as the wild-type protein but with reduced Th2:Th1 cytokines ratio. Mass screening on a quadruple mutant showed a 40% reduction in IgE binding in 35 of 42 sera of atopic individuals. Findings in this study further stressed the importance of surface-charged residues on IgE binding and have implications in the cross-reactivity and use of Blo t 5 mutants as a hypoallergen for immunotherapy.
Recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guèrin (rBCG) expressing three T cell epitopes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) Ag85B antigen (P1, P2, P3) fused to the Mtb8.4 protein (rBCG018) or a combination of these antigens fused to B cell epitopes from ESAT-6, CFP-10 and MTP40 proteins (rBCG032) were used to immunize Balb/c mice. Total IgG responses were determined against Mtb8.4 antigen and ESAT-6 and CFP-10 B cell epitopes after immunization with rBCG032. Mice immunized with rBCG032 showed a significant increase in IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies against ESAT-6 and MTP40 (P1) B cell epitopes and IgG3 against both P1 and P2 B cell epitopes of MPT40. Splenocytes from mice immunized with rBCG018 proliferated against Ag85B P2 and P3 T cell epitopes and Mtb8.4 protein whereas those from mice-immunized with rBCG032 responded against all Ag85B epitopes and the ESAT-6 B cell epitope. CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ lymphocytes from mice immunized with rBCG018 produced primarily Th1 type cytokines in response to the T cell epitopes. Similar pattern of recognition against the T cell epitopes were obtained with rBCG032 with the additional recognition of ESAT-6, CFP-10 and one of the MTP40 B cell epitopes with the same pattern of cytokines. This study demonstrates that rBCG constructs expressing either T or T and B cell epitopes of MTB induced appropriate immunogenicity against MTB.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are key to successful viral clearance in HCV disease. Accumulation of exhausted HCV-specific T cells during chronic infection results in considerable loss of protective functional immune responses. The role of T-cell exhaustion in chronic HCV disease remains poorly understood. Here, we studied the frequency of HCV peptide-stimulated T cells expressing negative immune checkpoints (PD-1, CTLA-4, TRAIL, TIM-3 and BTLA) by flow cytometry, and measured the levels of Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines secreted by T cells by a commercial Multi-Analyte ELISArray™ following in vitro stimulation of T cells using HCV peptides and phytohemagglutinin (PHA). HCV peptide-stimulated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells of chronic HCV (CHC) patients showed significant increase of CTLA-4. Furthermore, HCV peptide-stimulated CD4+ T cells of CHC patients also displayed relatively higher levels of PD-1 and TRAIL, whereas TIM-3 was up-regulated on HCV peptide-stimulated CD8+ T cells. Whereas the levels of IL-10 and TGF-β1 were significantly increased, the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-2, TNF-α, IL-17A and IL-6 were markedly decreased in the T cell cultures of CHC patients. Chronic HCV infection results in functional exhaustion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells likely contributing to viral persistence.
Most HIV-1-specific neutralizing antibodies isolated to date exhibit unusual characteristics that complicate their elicitation. Neutralizing antibodies that target the V1V2 apex of the HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimer feature unusually long protruding loops, which enable them to penetrate the HIV-1 glycan shield. As antibodies with loops of requisite length are created through uncommon recombination events, an alternative mode of apex binding has been sought. Here, we isolated a lineage of Env apex-directed neutralizing antibodies, N90-VRC38.01-11, by using virus-like particles and conformationally stabilized Env trimers as B cell probes. A crystal structure of N90-VRC38.01 with a scaffolded V1V2 revealed a binding mode involving side-chain-to-side-chain interactions that reduced the distance the antibody loop must traverse the glycan shield, thereby facilitating V1V2 binding via a non-protruding loop. The N90-VRC38 lineage thus identifies a solution for V1V2-apex binding that provides a more conventional B cell pathway for vaccine design.