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).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases