ABSTRACT

Taenia solium is a helminth parasite that causes 2 diseases in humans: cysticercosis and taeniasis. The establishment of T. solium metacestodes in the central nervous system causes neurocysticercosis, while development of the adult tapeworm in the small intestine causes taeniasis. Serological diagnosis of neurocysticercosis is performed by Western blot with an enriched fraction of glycoproteins that has been extensively used for clinical diagnosis and epidemiological surveys. The lectin-bound fraction that is used for this assay contains 7 antigenic glycoproteins. These antigenic proteins are considered to be highly specific for cysticercosis when tested with heterologous parasitic diseases. However, recent studies show that people with taeniasis have cross-reactive antibodies against the neurocysticercosis diagnostic glycoproteins and vice versa. Nevertheless, it is not known if these diagnostic proteins are expressed in the adult stage of the parasite. In this paper, we describe the location of 3 of these glycoproteins in T. solium adults and cysticerci using polyclonal antibodies raised against a synthetic peptide based on the amino acid sequence of TS14, a recombinant protein T24H, and the native GP50. The glycoproteins' distribution was different in invaginated and evaginated cysticerci as well as in adult tapeworms. Specifically, the 3 glycoproteins studied were differentially expressed during embryogenesis. Our findings indicate that expression of the diagnostic glycoproteins is developmentally regulated; this is noteworthy since these glycoproteins are considered specific for the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis but nevertheless are present in different structures throughout the development of T. solium. Here we describe the glycoprotein expression and localization, which can be important in understanding their biological functions. In addition, our results help clarify the cross-reaction observed between people with neurocysticercosis and taeniasis to TS14, T24H, and GP50, which are used as diagnostic antigens for neurocysticercosis.

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