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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.87 no.2 Rio de Janeiro Apr./June. 1992 

Antigenic differences among Leishmania amazonensis isolates and their relationship with distinct clinical forms of the disease

Leonor L. Leon1 

Gerzia M. C. Machado1 

Aldina Barral2 

Luiz E. de Carvalho-Paes1 

Gabriel Grimaldi Júnior1 

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Departamento de Imunologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Universidade Federal da Bahia, Hospital Prof. Edgard Santos, Laboratório de Imunologia, Salvador, Brasil


Immunoblot analysis was used to investigate antigenic differences among clinical isolates of Leishmania amazonensis and their role in the etiology of the diseases. Western blots of promastigote homogenates were analyzed with either monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for the L. mexicana complex (M-4, M-6, M-9 and M-11) or polyclonal sera from L. amazonensis infected patients with the various forms of clinical disease. In the case of the MAbs, no significant variation was observed among the strains of L. amazonensis, isolated from cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL), diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis (DCL), visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL), in either the relative morbility (Mr) or the quantitative amount (intensity) of the antigenic determinats. In the case of the sera of the infected patients, the patterns of antigenic reactivity of these strains revealed that, despite showing the presence of shared antigens, differences were observed between some of the antigenic components of the various isolates of L. amazonensis that were recognized by a single serum. Differences were also demonstrated between the antigenic determinants of a single isolate of L. amazonensis that were recognized by the different patient's sera. No apparent association was consistently found, however, between the Mr components identified in these isolates and clinical form of the disease or the geographical area of isolation. In addition, the spectrum of antigens recognized by the sera from patients with the same clinical form were not identical; although in some instances, similar Mr antigens were shared. These results indicate that isolates of L. amazonensis are not antigenically identical (homogeneous) and that the immune responses (antibodies) observed among infected patients are heterogeneous.

Key words: Leishmania amazonensis; Protozoa; parasitic; hemoflagellate; promastigote; immunoblot; antigenic differences


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