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A recombinant cysteine proteinase from Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi as an antigen for delayed-type hypersensitivity assays and serodiagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis

Pinheiro, Paulo Henrique da Costa, Pinheiro, Adriana Nunes, Ferreira, Josie Haydée Lima, Costa, Francisco Assis Lima, Katz, Simone, Barbiéri, Clara Lúcia
Veterinary parasitology 2009 v.162 no.1-2 pp. 32-39
dogs, dog diseases, Leishmania donovani, animal pathogens, visceral leishmaniasis, animal proteins, cysteine proteinases, recombinant proteins, antigens, delayed hypersensitivity, serodiagnosis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, amastigotes, promastigotes, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), monocytes, humoral immunity, cell-mediated immunity, disease diagnosis, diagnostic techniques, Brazil
A recombinant protein, rLdccys1, produced by expression of the gene encoding a 30kDa cysteine proteinase from Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi, was used to detect specific antibodies in serum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and to test for reactivity in delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses of dogs from an endemic region of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), Teresina, Piauí State, Brazil. Amastigote or promastigote extracts were also assayed for comparison. The sensitivity for detection of specific antibodies to L. (L.) chagasi using rLdccys1, lysates from L. (L.) chagasi promastigotes and amastigotes was 96%, 68%, and 69%, respectively. No cross-reactivity between rLdccys1 and Chagas disease was observed, and little reactivity was found with sera from dogs with babesiosis and ehrlichiosis. Among 106 sera from symptomatic dogs and 22 from non-infected controls, no false negatives and only two false positive sera were found for rLdccys1. In contrast, amastigote lysates yielded 11 false positives and 13 false negatives, whereas the corresponding numbers for promastigote lysates were 17 and 16. DTH responses were determined after intradermal injection of rLdccys1 or amastigote extract and the induration area was measured at 24, 48 and 72h after injection. All asymptomatic dogs showed a positive intradermal response to rLdccys1 (>10mm) which peaked at 48h, whereas no significant reactivity to the recombinant antigen was found in the symptomatic group. Histological analysis of the intradermal induration showed a predominance of necrotic and hemorrhagic areas in sections from asymptomatic dogs injected with L. (L.) chagasi amastigote extract, whereas a typical granulomatous reaction mediated by mononuclear cells was observed in sections from asymptomatic animals injected with rLdccys1. Grouping data from ELISA and DTH assays with rLdccys1 and L. (L.) chagasi amastigote extracts showed that humoral and cellular responses were inversely correlated during the development of canine VL. Overall, these findings indicate that L. (L.) chagasi recombinant cysteine proteinase is potentially useful for diagnosis of canine VL, as well as for the discrimination of clinical and subclinical forms of the disease.