Search for the presence of lectin-binding sites on Toxoplasma gondii

J Parasitol. 1977 Dec;63(6):1076-80.


Evidence for the presence of carbohydrate on the surface membrane of Toxoplasma gondii trophozoites and on the cell wall of toxoplasma brain cysts was sought by fluorescent lectin staining. Using FITC-conjugated preparations of Concanavalin A (Con A), wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), or soy bean agglutinin (SBA), we have failed to obtain evidence for the binding of these lectins on the surface of T. gondii trophozoites. In contrast, the three test lectins bound effectively and specifically to the wall of toxoplasma brain cysts. Prefixation of cysts with glutaraldehyde or brief trypsinization of cysts did not affect the intensity of cyst wall fluorescence when stained with FITC-conjugated Con A, SBA, or WGA. The results are interpreted to indicate that whereas exposed Con A, SBA, and WGA binding sites are associated with the wall of toxoplasma brain cysts, such lectin-binding saccharide residues are not present on the surface of trophozoites in exposed or reactive form.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Brain / parasitology
  • Concanavalin A / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluoresceins
  • Humans
  • Lectins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Toxoplasma / metabolism*
  • Toxoplasmosis / parasitology


  • Fluoresceins
  • Lectins
  • Concanavalin A