PRODUCTION OF HIGH AFFINITY, SPECIES SPECIFIC MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES AGAINST OOCYSTS OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM
Report No DWI0749

ABSTRACT

At present there are no species-specific monoclonal antibodies reactive against Cryptosporidium oocysts available. In this research an attempt was made to develop a monoclonal antibody specific for C.parvum oocyst wall epitopes and it was hoped that this antibody could also be used as confirmatory label for C.parvum oocyst recognition in environmental samples.

Standard techniques using hybridoma technology were used to raise murine monoclonal antibodies against antigens present on or within the walls of C.parvum oocysts. Although a suitable monoclonal antibody was not raised, data of pertinence and interest were generated. A dominant epitope was found to be present on the oocyst wall and this was considered likely to be a structural polymer containing a high proportion of carbohydrate. the immune response against this epitope was found to be predominantly low-affinity IgM. As this dominant eptiope appears to be both a poor immunogen and conserved between species. it is possible that monoclonal antibodies will not be selective enough for discrimination between the walls of C.parvum oocysts and the walls of oocysts of other species of Cryptosporidium.

A further approach which may yield a more effective method for discrimination between oocysts of different species of Cryptosporidium. is using the binding of selected lectins. Preliminary data has indicated the potential of this technique and further work on this methodology is recommended.

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