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Identification and characterisation of an aspartyl protease inhibitor homologue as a major allergen of Trichostrongylus colubriformis

, : Identification and characterisation of an aspartyl protease inhibitor homologue as a major allergen of Trichostrongylus colubriformis. International journal for parasitology 30 33(11): 1233-1243

Allergens were identified from the gastrointestinal nematode of sheep, Trichostrongylus colubriformis, by probing Western blots of infective larvae (third stage) somatic antigen with IgE purified from the serum of sheep grazed on worm contaminated pasture. A 31 kDa allergen was frequently recognised by sera from immune sheep, particularly those deriving from a line that has been genetically selected over 23 years for parasite resistance. Using a proteomic approach, the 31 kDa allergen was identified as an aspartyl protease inhibitor homologue. The entire coding sequence of T. colubriformis aspartyl protease inhibitor (Tco-api-1) was obtained and the mature protein expressed in Escherichia coli. Anti-Tco-API-1 antibodies revealed that a commonly observed 21 kDa T. colubriformis allergen species is a truncated form of Tco-API-1. Specific IgE responses to T. colubriformis aspartyl protease inhibitor were significantly correlated with the degree of resistance to nematode infection as measured by faecal egg count in sheep. Surprisingly, IgE responses to Tco-API-1 were not correlated with breech soiling (dag score), which is thought to be caused, in part, by allergic hypersensitivity to worms. Therefore, a specific IgE response to this allergen may be a suitable marker for identifying lambs at an early age that will develop strong immunity to gastrointestinal nematodes.


PMID: 13678638

DOI: 10.1016/s0020-7519(03)00157-7

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