Carbohydrate epitopes are immunodominant at the surface of infectious Neoparamoeba spp.

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Journal Article
Journal of Fish Diseases, 2007, 30 (4), pp. 191 - 199
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Amoebic gill disease, the main disease of concern to the salmon industry in Tasmania, is caused by the amoeba, Neoparamoeba spp. Experimental infection can only be induced by exposure to wild-type (WT) parasites isolated from the gills of infected fish, as cultured amoebae are non-infective. To characterize the surface antigens of WT parasites, we produced monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) using subtractive immunization. Mice inoculated with non-infective parasites were treated with cyclophosphamide, to deplete reactive lymphocytes, and then immunized with different antigen preparations from infective parasites. When whole parasites were used for boosting, the percentage of WT unique mAbs was very high (86%) as was the percentage of mAbs specific for carbohydrate epitopes (89%). When deglycosylated membranes were used, the numbers of mAbs specific for non-carbohydrate epitopes did not increase, but the total number of WT unique mAbs was reduced (86-40%). Using an untreated membrane preparation, the total number of mAbs to surface molecules was very high, but all recognized carbohydrate epitopes. The total number of mAbs recognizing carbohydrate epitopes on the surface of the WT parasites was 97%, suggesting that the dominant epitopes on the surface molecules unique to WT parasites are carbohydrate in nature. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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