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Variation in antigenic determinants specific to the infective stage of Trypanosoma cruzi.


Monoclonal antibodies reactive with the surface antigens of the Peru strain of Trypanosoma cruzi were analyzed by Western blots and immunofluorescence assays to determine their reactivity with three life cycle stages and five strain isolates of T. cruzi. One monoclonal antibody, 7.6, recognized a 68-kilodalton (kDa) polypeptide in Western blots of Peru strain trypomastigotes, epimastigotes, and amastigotes. A 68-kDa polypeptide was also detected by monoclonal antibody 7.6 in trypomastigotes of the CL and Y strains and in the clonal isolates Esmeraldo clone 3 and Silvio X10 clone 1. Positive immunofluorescence results were obtained for all life cycle stages of the five strains that were reacted with monoclonal antibody 7.6, thus indicating that the antigen recognized by monoclonal antibody 7.6 is universally present in all T. cruzi strains tested. In contrast, monoclonal antibody 4.2 reacted with a polypeptide doublet of 90 and 105 kDa in Western blots of Peru strain trypomastigotes, but it did not detect these antigens in epimastigotes or amastigotes. The same polypeptide doublet of 90 and 105 kDa was also detected in Western blots of Y strain trypomastigotes; however, no bands were detected in blots of strain CL or isolate Silvio X10 clone 1 trypomastigotes. In blots of Esmeraldo clone 3 trypomastigotes, a single band of 130 kDa was detected by monoclonal antibody 4.2. In immunofluorescence assays of monoclonal antibody 4.2, positive reactions were obtained only with trypomastigotes of Peru, Y, and Esmeraldo clone 3 strains. Thus, monoclonal antibody 4.2 recognizes a trypomastigote-specific antigen which is not universally present on all strains of T. cruzi.

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