Characterization of the carbohydrate components of Taenia solium oncosphere proteins and their role in the antigenicity

Yanina Arana, Manuela Verastegui, Iskra Tuero, Louis Grandjean, Hector H. Garcia, Robert H. Gilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the carbohydrate composition of Taenia solium whole oncosphere antigens (WOAs), in order to improve the understanding of the antigenicity of the T. solium. Better knowledge of oncosphere antigens is crucial to accurately diagnose previous exposure to T. solium eggs and thus predict the development of neurocysticercosis. A set of seven lectins conjugates with wide carbohydrate specificity were used on parasite fixations and somatic extracts. Lectin fluorescence revealed that d-mannose, d-glucose, d-galactose and N-acetyl-d-galactosamine residues were the most abundant constituents of carbohydrate chains on the surface of T. solium oncosphere. Lectin blotting showed that posttranslational modification with N-glycosylation was abundant while little evidence of O-linked carbohydrates was observed. Chemical oxidation and enzymatic deglycosylation in situ were performed to investigate the immunoreactivity of the carbohydrate moieties. Linearizing or removing the carbohydrate moieties from the protein backbones did not diminish the immunoreactivity of these antigens, suggesting that a substantial part of the host immune response against T. solium oncosphere is directed against the peptide epitopes on the parasite antigens. Finally, using carbohydrate probes, we demonstrated for the first time that the presence of several lectins on the surface of the oncosphere was specific to carbohydrates found in intestinal mucus, suggesting a possible role in initial attachment of the parasite to host cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3569-3578
Number of pages10
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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