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      Schistosoma mansoni Venom Allergen Like Proteins Present Differential Allergic Responses in a Murine Model of Airway Inflammation

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          BackgroundThe Schistosoma mansoni Venom-Allergen-Like proteins (SmVALs) are members of the SCP/TAPS (Sperm-coating protein/Tpx-1/Ag5/PR-1/Sc7) protein superfamily, which may be important in the host-pathogen interaction. Some of these molecules were suggested by us and others as potential immunomodulators and vaccine candidates, due to their functional classification, expression profile and predicted localization. From a vaccine perspective, one of the concerns is the potential allergic effect of these molecules.Methodology/Principal FindingsHerein, we characterized the putative secreted proteins SmVAL4 and SmVAL26 and explored the mouse model of airway inflammation to investigate their potential allergenic properties. The respective recombinant proteins were obtained in the Pichia pastoris system and the purified proteins used to produce specific antibodies. SmVAL4 protein was revealed to be present only in the cercarial stage, increasing from 0–6 h in the secretions of newly transformed schistosomulum. SmVAL26 was identified only in the egg stage, mainly in the hatched eggs' fluid and also in the secretions of cultured eggs. Concerning the investigation of the allergic properties of these proteins in the mouse model of airway inflammation, SmVAL4 induced a significant increase in total cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, mostly due to an increase in eosinophils and macrophages, which correlated with increases in IgG1, IgE and IL-5, characterizing a typical allergic airway inflammation response. High titers of anaphylactic IgG1 were revealed by the Passive Cutaneous Anaphylactic (PCA) hypersensitivity assay. Additionally, in a more conventional protocol of immunization for vaccine trials, rSmVAL4 still induced high levels of IgG1 and IgE.ConclusionsOur results suggest that members of the SmVAL family do present allergic properties; however, this varies significantly and therefore should be considered in the design of a schistosomiasis vaccine. Additionally, the murine model of airway inflammation proved to be useful in the investigation of allergic properties of potential vaccine candidates.

          Author Summary

          The Schistosoma mansoni Venom Allergen Like proteins (SmVALs) have been identified in the Transcriptome and Post-Genomic studies as targets for immune interventions. Two secreted members of the family were obtained as recombinant proteins in the native conformation. Antibodies produced against them showed that SmVAL4 was present mostly in cercarial secretions and SmVAL26 in egg secretions and that only the native SmVAL4 contained carbohydrate moieties. Due to concerns with potential allergic characteristics of this class of molecules, we have explored the mouse model of airway inflammation in order to investigate these properties in a more confined system. Sensitization and challenge with rSmVAL4, but not rSmVAL26, induced extensive migration of cells to the lungs, mostly eosinophils and macrophages; moreover, immunological parameters were also characteristic of an allergic inflammatory response. Our results showed that the allergic potential of this class of proteins can be variable and that the vaccine candidates should be characterized; the mouse model of airway inflammation can be useful to evaluate these properties.

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          Most cited references 45

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          The genome of the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni

          Schistosoma mansoni is responsible for the neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis that affects 210 million people in 76 countries. We report here analysis of the 363 megabase nuclear genome of the blood fluke. It encodes at least 11,809 genes, with an unusual intron size distribution, and novel families of micro-exon genes that undergo frequent alternate splicing. As the first sequenced flatworm, and a representative of the lophotrochozoa, it offers insights into early events in the evolution of the animals, including the development of a body pattern with bilateral symmetry, and the development of tissues into organs. Our analysis has been informed by the need to find new drug targets. The deficits in lipid metabolism that make schistosomes dependent on the host are revealed, while the identification of membrane receptors, ion channels and more than 300 proteases, provide new insights into the biology of the life cycle and novel targets. Bioinformatics approaches have identified metabolic chokepoints while a chemogenomic screen has pinpointed schistosome proteins for which existing drugs may be active. The information generated provides an invaluable resource for the research community to develop much needed new control tools for the treatment and eradication of this important and neglected disease.
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            The immunobiology of schistosomiasis.

            Schistosomes are parasitic worms that are a prime example of a complex multicellular pathogen that flourishes in the human host despite the development of a pronounced immune response. Understanding how the immune system deals with such pathogens is a daunting challenge. The past decade has seen the use of a wide range of new approaches to determine the nature and function of the immune response to schistosomes. Here, we attempt to summarize advances in our understanding of the immunology of schistosomiasis, with the bulk of the review reflecting the experimental focus on Schistosoma mansoni infection in mice.
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              The Schistosoma japonicum genome reveals features of host-parasite interplay.

              Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, which is a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and signalling pathways for growth, development and maturation. Having a complex nervous system and a well-developed sensory system, S. japonicum can accept stimulation of the corresponding ligands as a physiological response to different environments, such as fresh water or the tissues of its intermediate and mammalian hosts. Numerous proteases, including cercarial elastase, are implicated in mammalian skin penetration and haemoglobin degradation. The genomic information will serve as a valuable platform to facilitate development of new interventions for schistosomiasis control.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Centro de Biotecnologia, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
                [2 ]Laboratório de Imunopatologia, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
                Cambridge University, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: LPF DR VC LCCL. Performed the experiments: LPF DR VC HKR ELF-M. Analyzed the data: LPF DR VC HKR ELF-M LCCL. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: LPF LCCL ELF-M. Wrote the paper: LPF HKR DR ELF-M LCCL.

                Role: Editor
                PLoS Negl Trop Dis
                PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                February 2012
                7 February 2012
                : 6
                : 2
                Farias et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Pages: 13
                Research Article
                Clinical Immunology

                Infectious disease & Microbiology


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