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Conservation of Neutralizing Determinants between the Sporozoite Surface Antigens of Theileria annulata and Theileria parva

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Health & Diseases
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Biological & environmental
Bell-Sakyi, L.; Boulter, N.; Brown, C.G.D.; Gachanja, J.N.; Hall, R.; Hussain, K.; Katzer, F.; Kirvar, E.; Knight, P.; Musoke, A.J.; Nene, V.; Tait, A.; Williamson, S.

The sporozoite surface antigens SPAG-1 of Theileria annulata and p67 of Theileria parva are postulated to contain determinants necessary for host cell invasion and/or recognition and are both being considered as candidates for inclusion in subunit vaccines. Preliminary data suggest that these are related molecules. In this paper we describe the investigation of the relationship between these sporozoite antigens further by analysis of the immunological cross-reactivity using Mabs and sera raised against each antigen. The cross-reactions were examined by carrying out Western blots, IFA tests, andin vitrosporozoite neutralization assays. In addition, sequence comparison data which clearly establish that these surface antigens are encoded by related genes are presented. The regions of SPAG-1 identified as containing cross-reactive epitopes recognized by p67 antiserum correlated to regions of high predicted homology between p67 and SPAG-1, which are located at their respective N- and C-termini. Furthermore, p67 and SPAG-1 were found to contain cross-reactive determinants responsible for neutralization of sporozoite infectivityin vitro,and at least some of these were located in the C-termini of both molecules. The relevance of these findings to the possible roles for these molecules in host cell invasion is discussed.