Monoclonal antibodies to Toxoplasma cell membrane surface antigens protect mice from toxoplasmosis

J Protozool. 1983 May;30(2):351-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1983.tb02929.x.


Groups of mice were given an intraperitoneal injection of one of six monoclonal antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, a mixture of equal amounts of five monoclonal antibodies to T. gondii, or the murine myeloma protein MOPC 21, and challenged with either a highly virulent or moderately virulent parasite strain. Two monoclonal antibodies (FMC 19 and FMC 22) conferred total protection against the moderately virulent challenge, with all mice surviving, whereas 90% of control mice died. FMC 19 and FMC 22 also conferred significant protection against the highly virulent challenge as indicated by a prolonged mean time to death (MTD) of immunized compared with control groups of mice. One monoclonal antibody (FMC 23) and the mixture of five antibodies gave significant protection against the moderately virulent challenge only. Passive immunization with dilutions of FMC 22 antibody indicated that the lowest serum titer needed to confer significant protection to mice against a moderately virulent Toxoplasma challenge was 1/640. Mice challenged with highly virulent tachyzoites that had been preincubated with FMC 22 had a significantly longer MTD than mice challenged with highly virulent tachyzoites that had been preincubated with MOPC 21 or phosphate buffered saline, pH 7.2 (PBS). Immunoprecipitation and autoradiography of radiolabeled tachyzoites confirmed that FMC 19 was directed against a 35,000 molecular weight (mol. wt.) antigen and FMC 22 was directed against a 14,000 mol. wt. fraction. The potential for use of single antigens as protective immunogens in preventing toxoplasmosis is raised.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • Female
  • Immunization, Passive*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Weight
  • Toxoplasma / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Surface