Onchocerca uolvulus: Characterization of a highly immunogenic Gln-rich protein

Gerald T. Joseph, James S. McCarthy, Tellervo Huima, Kisha F. Mair, Philip H Kass, Michael Boussinesq, Lucy Goodrick, Janette E. Bradley, Sara Lustigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A pool of sera from individuals classified as putatively immune (PI) to Onchocerca volvulus infection was employed in the screening of a fourth-stage larval cDNA expression library. A highly immunogenic clone, encoding the Ov 53/80 protein, was identified. The full length cDNA of clone 4.21 contained 2527 nucleotides encoding 769 amino acids of which 100 are glutamine residues (13%). Antibodies raised against recombinant protein encoded by a partial cDNA sequence (clone 73-k) recognized a 53 and 80 kDa protein in O. volvulus larval and adult parasite extracts, respectively. The antibodies localized the native protein in the cuticle, hypodermis, secretory vesicles and in granules of the glandular esophagus of larvae and in the hypodermis and the cuticle of adult worms. The recombinant 73-k polypeptide (r73) was recognized by 90-100% of sera from PI and infected individuals from Liberia, but only by 67% of similar groups from Ecuador, r73 specific IgG2 and IgG3 levels in the PI from Liberia and Ecuador, respectively, were significantly lower than in the infected, whereas the r73 specific IgG1/IgG3 or IgG1/IgG2 in the PI and the infected individuals from Liberia or Ecuador, respectively, were similar. The IgG4 specific antibody response in the PI from Liberia and Ecuador were lower than in the infected. The T-cell proliferative responses to r73 in infected individuals from Cameroon were found to be inversely correlated with their levels of microfilariae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997


  • IgG subclasses
  • Larvae
  • Onchocerca volvulus
  • Polyglutamine tract
  • Putatively immune individuals
  • T-cell proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Parasitology


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