Specific anti-glycan antibodies are sustained during and after parasite clearance in Schistosoma japonicum-infected rhesus macaques

Y. Y. Michelle Yang, Xiao Hong Li, Katarzyna Brzezicka, Niels-Christian Reichardt, R. Alan Wilson, Angela van Diepen, Cornelis H. Hokke

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases | DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005339


Schistosomes express many glycan antigens to which antibodies are raised by the infected host. These glycans may therefore form potential vaccine targets. Unlike humans where the disease persists chronically if not treated, schistosome-infected rhesus macaques are able to elicit a self-cure process naturally. To find out if anti-glycan responses could contribute to the natural clearance process, we followed the dynamics of anti-glycan serum antibodies in Schistosoma-infected macaques in a longitudinal study starting from the onset of infection until 22 weeks post-infection, when the macaques had eliminated most of the parasites. We found that sera of macaques taken after 22 weeks of infection contained high IgG titres towards specific schistosome glycan epitopes highly abundant on schistosome larvae. Moreover, infected macaque serum at week 22 was able to kill schistosomula in vitro. Our results suggest that anti-glycan antibodies play an important role in the self-cure process and the acquired resistance to re-infection in Schistosoma infected macaques.

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