Mechanisms for the elimination of potentially lytic complement-fixing variable surface glycoprotein antibody-complexes in Trypanosoma brucei

Parasitol Res. 1994;80(6):487-92. doi: 10.1007/BF00932695.


Live antibody-coated Trypanosoma brucei parasites remove variable surface glycoprotein (VSG)-antibody complexes from their surface upon warming to 37 degrees C and evade antibody-activated complement lysis by both protein synthesis-dependent and protein synthesis-independent mechanisms. The protein synthesis-dependent process follows antibody-mediated trypanosome agglutination, whereas the protein synthesis-independent mechanism can occur in the absence of trypanosome agglutination. The latter process leads to a more rapid elimination of complement-fixing VSG-antibody complexes.

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / metabolism*
  • Complement Activation*
  • Epitopes
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Protozoan Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / cytology
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / immunology*
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Epitopes
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma