Studies on the immunoglobulin (Ig)E immune responses to the gastric nematode, Teladorsagia circumcincta, have demonstrated a major high molecular weight allergen (HMWTc). Cross reactive allergens of similar MW were demonstrated for Trichostrongylus colubriformis and Cooperia curticei, but not for Haemonchus contortus. Purification of HMWTc was achieved by gel-filtration chromatography, and nonreducing SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis revealed two closely associated bands with a molecular weight of approximately 140-150?kDa. Reduction showed four IgE reactive bands of 120, 50, 45 and 30?kDa, and deglycosylation abrogated the immunoreactivity of the 120 and 30?kDa bands. Ultrastructural immunolocalization by electron microscopy revealed that the IgE reactivity was confined to the cuticular surface of the infective (L3) larvae. ELISA studies to determine the IgE anti-HMWTc responses in lambs during their first grazing season, demonstrated significantly higher IgE antibody in lambs with low accumulative faecal egg count (FEC) compared to animals with high accumulative FEC. These studies provide evidence for a protective function of IgE antibody in Teladorsagia infections in lambs.
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