In vivo localization of antibodies raised against Eimeria maxima wall forming bodies during sexual intracellular development

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Parasitology, 2014, 141 (13), pp. 1726 - 1735
Issue Date:
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Copyright © 2014 Cambridge University Press. Apicomplexan parasites cause devastating diseases in humans and livestock. Previously we demonstrated that antibodies targeting transmissible forms of the apicomplexan parasite, Eimeria, are effective at reducing parasite shedding thus preventing the transmission of the disease. However, the mechanisms responsible have not been fully defined. Moreover, there is no direct evidence that the parasite-specific IgG antibodies can reach the parasite developing in the enterocytes of the infected chicken host. This study summarizes our efforts using host immunity, parasite proteomics and 3D microscopy to provide a step forward in our understanding of how this immune response works. Eimeria maxima is an important pathogen of poultry and used as a surrogate for a number of human pathogens including Toxoplasma and Plasmodium. Our studies demonstrate that immunization with the purified wall forming bodies (WFBs) results in a production of parasite-specific IgG antibodies, which have the ability to reach in situ gametocytes in the intestinal lumen and permeate the enterocyte/parasite membranes in order to bind to the cytoplasmic Type 1 and Type 2 WFBs. This raises the intriguing possibility that via this process antibodies block the development of Eimeria maxima in vivo.
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