Study of specific immunodominant antigens in different stages of Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis spp. and Hammondia spp

Exp Parasitol. 2024 Jul:262:108772. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2024.108772. Epub 2024 May 7.


The family Sarcocystidae includes several intracellular coccidial parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis spp. and Hammondia spp. with heteroxenous life cycles involving different parasitic stages (oocysts/sporocysts, tachyzoites and bradyzoites in tissue cysts). The aim of this work was to evaluate monoclonal antibodies (MAb) (anti NcSAG1, anti NcSAG4 and anti TgCC2) and/or polyclonal antibodies (PAb) (anti NcSAG4 and anti TgBAG1) to label specific immunodominant antigens in different parasitic stages of N. caninum (oocyst, bradyzoite and tachyzoite), T. gondii (oocyst, cyst and tachyzoite), H. heydorni (oocyst), S. cruzi (cyst and bradyzoite) and S. falcatula (sporocyst). It was observed that the MAb directed against NcSAG1 reacted exclusively with N. caninum tachyzoites. In contrast, the MAb directed against NcSAG4 did not react with any of the parasites tested at any stage. The MAb directed against NcSAG4 reacted with both N. caninum and T. gondii tachyzoites, T. gondii tissue cysts and S. cruzi tissue cysts and bradyzoites. As expected, the MAb directed against the T. gondii tissue cyst wall antigen TgCC2 reacted with T. gondii tissue cysts, N. caninum bradyzoites, but also with T. gondii and H. heydorni oocysts and S. falcatula sporocysts. Finally, the PAb directed against the T. gondii bradyzoite proteinTgBAG1 reacted with T. gondii tissue cysts, N. caninum bradyzoites, and also with S. cruzi tissue cysts and bradyzoites. These data reveal a wide range of cross-reactions between different species of protozoa and between different developmental stages, which should be taken into account in the design and evaluation of diagnostic tests, as well as in the assessment of vaccination and challenge studies.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / immunology
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / immunology
  • Antigens, Protozoan* / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neospora* / immunology
  • Rabbits
  • Sarcocystidae / growth & development
  • Sarcocystidae / immunology
  • Sarcocystis* / immunology
  • Toxoplasma* / immunology


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Antibodies, Protozoan