Molecular cloning and differential IgG responses to a histidine-rich antigen (OvL3.C1) of Onchocerca volvulus by selected residents of onchocerciasis endemic regions in Cameroon and Ecuador
In order to further investigate host-parasite interactions in onchocerciasis, a major Onchocerca volvulus histidine rich antigen termed OvL3.C1 was isolated from an O. volvulus cDNA library using antibodies from putatively immune subjects living in onchocerciasis endemic communities in Cameroon. Analysis of its sequences predicted the protein to be helix-rich with a single transmembrane region. Recombinant OvL3.C1 antigen induced from pBAD-TOPO/Thio vector in Escherichia coli was purified as inclusion bodies and further by a combination of Ni2+ chelate chromatography and electroelution. Anti-OvL3.C1 immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass levels were assessed by ELISA in 15 pairs and 18 pairs of selected and cross-matched infected and putatively immune subjects from Cameroon and Ecuador, respectively. IgG3 and IgG4 levels were shown to be significantly higher in putatively immune (immune protected) subjects. A higher IgG3 level in endemic normal subjects is implicated in parasite killing and the development of the putative immune status while IgG4 has been shown to block onchocercal pathology. OvL3.C1 is a dominant antigen in onchocerciasis which elicits strong responses in subjects expose to both African and South American forms of onchocerciasis. It is therefore an important player in mechanisms of resistance or allergy attenuation in onchocerciasis.
Keywords: Onchocerciasis, immunoglobulin G, putative immunity