The antigenic properties of cysteine proteinases binding to cystatin were analyzed in Neodiplostomum seoulense, an intestinal trematode that infects humans and rodents in the Republic of Korea. Cystatin was found to effectively capture cysteine proteinases present in the crude extract of N. seoulense. The IgG levels against cystatin-binding cysteine proteinases in sera of mice infected with N. seoulense were higher than those in sera of mice immunized with the crude extract of N. seoulense. The production of IgG antibodies against cystatin-binding cysteine proteinases increased according to the length of infection period. In immunoblots of purified cystatin-binding proteinases, 2 molecules, approximately 50 kDa and 60 kDa, reacted with N. seoulense-infected mouse sera. Of the sera from patients infected with various helminths, those of sparganum-infected patients showed the strongest affinities for cystatin-binding cysteine proteinases of N. seoulense. Cystatin-binding cysteine proteinases of N. seoulense are suggested to be putative antigens for serodiagnosis of human N. seoulense infection.
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