Browsing by Subject "ANTIGENIC VARIATION"

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  • Kiyuka, Patience Kerubo; Meri, Seppo; Khattab, Ayman (2020)
    The malaria parasite has for long been thought to escape host complement attack as a survival strategy. However, it was only recently that complement evasion mechanisms of the parasite were described. Simultaneously, the role of complement in antibody-mediated naturally acquired and vaccine-induced protection against malaria has also been reported. Such findings should be considered in future vaccine design, given the current need to develop more efficacious vaccines against malaria. Parasite antigens derived from molecules mediating functions crucial for parasite survival, such as complement evasion, or parasite antigens against which antibody responses lead to an efficient complement attack could present new candidates for vaccines. In this review, we discuss recent findings on complement evasion by the malaria parasites and the emerging role of complement in antibody-mediated protection against malaria. We emphasize that immune responses to vaccines based on complement inhibitors should not only induce complement-activating antibodies but also neutralize the escape mechanisms of the parasite.
  • Ma, Liang; Chen, Zehua; Huang, Da Wei; Cisse, Ousmane H.; Rothenburger, Jamie L.; Latinne, Alice; Bishop, Lisa; Blair, Robert; Brenchley, Jason M.; Chabe, Magali; Deng, Xilong; Hirsch, Vanessa; Keesler, Rebekah; Kutty, Geetha; Liu, Yueqin; Margolis, Daniel; Morand, Serge; Pahar, Bapi; Peng, Li; Van Rompay, Koen K. A.; Song, Xiaohong; Song, Jun; Sukura, Antti; Thapar, Sabrina; Wang, Honghui; Weissenbacher-Lang, Christiane; Xu, Jie; Lee, Chao-Hung; Jardine, Claire; Lempicki, Richard A.; Cushion, Melanie T.; Cuomo, Christina A.; Kovacs, Joseph A. (2020)
    Pneumocystis, a major opportunistic pathogen in patients with a broad range of immunodeficiencies, contains abundant surface proteins encoded by a multicopy gene family, termed the major surface glycoprotein (Msg) gene superfamily. This superfamily has been identified in all Pneumocystis species characterized to date, highlighting its important role in Pneumocystis biology. In this report, through a comprehensive and in-depth characterization of 459 msg genes from 7 Pneurnocystis species, we demonstrate, for the first time, the phylogeny and evolution of conserved domains in Msg proteins and provide a detailed description of the classification, unique characteristics, and phylogenetic relatedness of five Msg families. We further describe, for the first time, the relative expression levels of individual msg families in two rodent Pneumocystis species, the substantial variability of the msg repertoires in P. coda from laboratory and wild rats, and the distinct features of the expression site for the classic msg genes in Pneumocystis from 8 mammalian host species. Our analysis suggests multiple functions for this superfamily rather than just conferring antigenic variation to allow immune evasion as previously believed. This study provides a rich source of information that lays the foundation for the continued experimental exploration of the functions of the Msg superfamily in Pneumocystis biology. IMPORTANCE Pneumocystis continues to be a major cause of disease in humans with immunodeficiency, especially those with HIV/AIDS and organ transplants, and is being seen with increasing frequency worldwide in patients treated with immunode-pleting monoclonal antibodies. Annual health care associated with Pneumocystis pneumonia costs similar to$475 million dollars in the United States alone. In addition to causing overt disease in immunodeficient individuals, Pneumocystis can cause subclinical infection or colonization in healthy individuals, which may play an important role in species preservation and disease transmission. Our work sheds new light on the diversity and complexity of the msg superfamily and strongly suggests that the versatility of this superfamily reflects multiple functions, including antigenic variation to allow immune evasion and optimal adaptation to host environmental conditions to promote efficient infection and transmission. These findings are essential to consider in developing new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.