Antigenic diversity in maxadilan, a salivary protein from the sand fly vector of American visceral leishmaniasis

Rania S. Milleron, John Paul Mutebi, Sonia Valle, Alberto Montoya, Huaizhi Yin, Lynn Soong, Gregory C. Lanzaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The salivary protein maxadilan (MAX) is a vasodilator and immunomodulator from the sand fly vector of the protozoan parasite Leishmania chagasi. Vaccinating BALB/c mice with sand fly salivary gland extracts or with MAX protects the host against L. major infection. Because of the potential use of MAX in an anti-Leishmania vaccine, we characterized the vertebrate host IgG response to MAX in the present study. Our immunochemical analysis indicated that antibodies to MAX were detected in BALB/c mice, as well as in pigs and humans, from a area in Nicaragua endemic for Lutzomyia longipalpis. Previous studies demonstrate that the MAX protein is polymorphic on the amino acid level. Our findings suggested that naturally occurring MAX variants were recognized specifically by the host immune system and antigenicity appeared to be associated with amino-acid sequence variability. Thus, antigenic diversity of MAX and possibly of other arthropod salivary proteins may dictate the development of vector-based vaccines(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Antigenic diversity in maxadilan, a salivary protein from the sand fly vector of American visceral leishmaniasis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this