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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 323-329

Species-specific and cross-reactive antigen of filarial worm: Brugia malayi and Setaria digitata

1 Department of Immunology, Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, India
2 Department of Virology, Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prakash Kumar Sahoo
Department of Virology, ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar–571 023
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.s302035

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Background & objectives: Generally filarial antigens have been found to be cross-reactive in nature. Identification of genus and species-specific antigens has not been successful so far. Due to lack of human adult filarial parasite, researchers have been using other adult worms like Setaria digitata, a cattle parasite or Brugia malayi, a rodent model for their research work. In this situation, specificity of the prepared antigen (S. digitata or B. malayi) to detect the antibodies to Wuchereria bancrofti is questionable. Methods: In the present investigation, we have tested a panel of human sera (collected from the areas, endemic for bancroftian filariasis) to correlate the immune reactivity against somatic antigens of adult stages and microfilarial stages of S. digitata and B. malayi. Further, using intact microfilariae (mf) from the above two parasites along with W. bancrofti, we have analyzed the antibody response to the sheath antigens. A panel of infected human and cattle sera was tested by immunoperoxidase assay using intact mf of three different parasites, viz. W. bancrofti, B. malayi, and S. digitata. Results: A very significant positive correlation in filarial Igs (polyvalent), IgG, IgM, IgE and IgG4 levels were found between the two adult somatic antigens of B. malayi and S. digitata when tested against human filarial sera. However, such a correlation was not found when mf antigens of B. malayi and S. digitata were tested against a panel of W. bancrofti sera indicating that antigens present in mf could be far less cross-reactive in comparison to those in adult stage parasites. Interpretation & conclusion: The results indicated the differential cross-reactivity of antisheath antibodies to the mf sheath of three different filarial parasites. Soluble antigens of S. digitata could inhibit antisheath antibody reactivity to only S. digitata mf sheath and not to mf sheath of W. bancrofti further confirming the specificity of sheath antigen.

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