Two monoclonal antibodies have been produced that bind to separate epitopes on the Mr 26,000 glutathione S-transferase (GST) of Schistosoma japonicum worms (Sj26). Both antibodies have been used in an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with sera from infected individuals from the Philippines. Relatively high signals were obtained with sera from some, but not all, individuals who are positive for fecal eggs. Evidence was obtained that the material detected by the monoclonal antibodies was present in minute amounts and in some sera was bound in a complex with phosphorylcholinecontaining molecules. It could not be absorbed by reaction with glutathioneagarose columns. There was no detectable immunoglobulin in the complex. The possibility exists that the complexes are composed of schistosome GST, or fragments, and damaged tegumental lipids shed as a result of surface immune attack. However, the presence of the native Sj26 molecule has not been proven. More detailed longitudinal studies in endemic areas are required to determine whether the assay can be used as an indicator of acquired resistance ("concomitant immunity") and whether it will be useful in the search for immunological correlates of this resistance in humans.
- Schistosoma japonicum