Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were produced against the proteins of advanced third-stage larvae (AdL3) of Gnathostoma nipponicum. Six mAbs (Gn2C3, Gn2H3, Gn4C3, Gn4E9, Gn5H1, and Gn10B7) were obtained as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Gn4E9 and Gn5H1 seemed to be genus-specific, as they did not cross-react with Anisakis sp., Dirofilaria immitis, Gongylonema pulchrum, Toxocara canis, Trichinella sp., Trichuris vulpis, Metagonimus sp., or Spirometra erinaceieuropaei by ELISA. Immunohistochemistry showed that Gn2C3, Gn4E9, and Gn5H1 reacted strongly with the central esophagus; Gn2H3 reacted with cuticle, muscle, intestine, and the cervical sac; and Gn4C3 and Gn10B7 reacted with cuticle, muscle, esophagus, intestine, and the cervical sac of AdL3. In Western blotting analysis, Gn2C3, Gn4E9, and Gn5H1 reacted to 60-, 53-, 46-, and 41-kDa proteins; Gn4C3 reacted to the AdL3 protein of G. nipponicum (>42 kDa). Moreover, proteins purified using a mAb Gn4E9 immunoprecipitation method (sizes 60-, 53-, 46-, and 41-kDa) were used as antigens in ELISAs. A significant difference (P < 0.01) was shown between mouse sera infected with G. nipponicum and sera infected with Trichnella sp. or not infected. These results provide a rationale for evaluating esophageal proteins for the development of diagnostic methods for detecting G. nipponicum or Gnathostoma sp. infections.

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