Inhibition of Giardia lamblia excystation by antibodies against cyst walls and by wheat germ agglutinin.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego Medical Center, 92103-8416, USA.
Infection and Immunity (Impact Factor: 4.07). 06/1996; 64(6):2151-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although excystation is crucial to the initiation of infection by Giardia lamblia, little is known about the regulation of this important process. We have been able to reliably induce excystation in vitro by mimicking cyst passage through the stomach and upper small intestine by the exposure of in vitro-derived cysts to an acidic, reducing environment (stage I) followed by protease treatment at a slightly alkaline pH (stage II). Preexposure of cysts to polyclonal rabbit antiserum against purified cyst walls (PCWs) or to wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) inhibited excystation by > 90%. Adsorption of either ligand with PCWs eliminated inhibition, demonstrating specificity for cyst wall epitopes. Inhibition by WGA was reversed by either chitotriose or sialic acid, while inhibition by polyclonal antibodies against PCWs (anti-PCW) was reversed only by sialic acid, which also inhibited binding of both ligands to intact cysts and to cyst wall antigens in immunoblots. Binding of anti-PCW did not affect acidification of cyst cytoplasm during stage I. Exposure of cysts to anti-PCW and WGA prior to, but not after, stage II was sufficient to inhibit excystation, and inhibition could be partially reversed by increasing the protease concentration during stage II. A 7- to 10-fold higher proportion of WGA- and anti-PCW-treated cysts than control cysts remained intact after stage II. Our results suggest that these ligands, which bind cyst wall epitopes, inhibit excystation, most likely by interfering with proteolysis of cyst wall glycoproteins during stage II.

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