Previous studies at our laboratory have shown that an antibody (antiegressin) present in the serum of chronically infected mice is capable of inhibiting the egress of Trypanosoma cruzi from infected BALB/c fibroblasts. We have used this in vitro system to evaluate whether human chagasic serum is also capable of inhibiting T. cruzi egress. BALB/c fibroblasts were infected with tissue culture–derived parasites. Five-percent solutions of the individual human serum samples in culture medium were added to the wells, and the number of parasites released was determined at day 5 after infection. The cells cultured with serum from infected individuals released between 37% and 72% fewer parasites than those cultured with control serum. A similar reduction in parasite egress resulted from incubation with the protein-A purified IgG fraction from 3 of these human samples. Immunocytochemical staining employing antineuraminidase antibodies supported the notion that the reduction in parasite levels is due to inhibition at the point of parasite egress. These results indicate that human serum of individuals infected with T. cruzi is capable of inhibiting release of the parasite from infected tissue culture cells and that the phenomenon of egress-inhibition may be relevant during infection of human subjects.

You do not currently have access to this content.