We are attempting to design a simpler assay based on synthetic or recombinant antigens to replace the labor-intensive enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB-C), which is currently used to diagnose Taenia solium cysticercosis. From the lentil lectin-bound fraction of cyst glycoproteins (the LLGP fraction used in the EITB-C), we previously identified and purified 2 related polypeptides of 14- and 18-kDa that demonstrated diagnostic usefulness. Using degenerate oligonucleotide primers corresponding to amino acid sequences of these polypeptides and a cDNA library prepared from T. solium cysticerci, we amplified cDNA clones that represent the 14- and 18-kDa polypeptides. These clones share sequence homology at the nucleotide and amino acid levels. Synthetic polypeptides that represented the full-length, mature proteins (sTS14 and sTS18) were assessed for serologic potential using an ELISA. sTS14, but not sTS18, demonstrated utility as a diagnostic antigen. sTS14 was recognized by antibodies in a majority of the sera from patients with cysticercosis and none of the sera from persons with other helminth infections or uninfected human sera. Furthermore, polyclonal antibodies to sTS14 reacted with 6 discrete proteins present in the LLGP cyst fraction, suggesting that TS14 is a subunit of other previously described antigens used for diagnosing cysticercosis.
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