Journal of cellular biochemistry

Bovine (Bos taurus) humoral immune response against Echinococcus granulosus and hydatid cyst infertility.

PMID 21117064


Echinococcus granulosus, the agent of hydatid disease, presents an indirect life cycle, with canines (mainly dogs) as definitive hosts, and herbivores and human as intermediary ones. In intermediary hosts fertile and infertile cysts develop, but only the first ones develop protoscoleces, the parasite form infective to definitive hosts. We report the presence of bovine IgGs in the germinal layer from infertile cysts (GLIC), in an order of magnitude greater than in the germinal layer from fertile cysts (GLFC). When extracted with salt solutions, bovine IgGs from GLIC are associated with low or with high affinity (most likely corresponding to non specific and antigen specific antibodies, respectively). Specific IgGs penetrate both the cells of the germinal layer and HeLa cultured cells and recognize parasitic proteins. These results, taken together with previous ones from our laboratory, showing induction of apoptosis in the germinal layer of infertile hydatid cysts, provide the first coherent explanation of the infertility process. They also offer the possibility of identifying the parasite antigens recognized, as possible targets for immune modulation.