Identification of a major surface protein on Neospora caninum tachyzoites

Parasitol Res. 1996;82(6):497-504. doi: 10.1007/s004360050152.


Neospora caninum is a recently identified coccidian parasite that is closely related to Toxoplasma gondii. Molecules associated with the surface of N. caninum tachyzoites are likely to be involved in the process of adhesion and invasion of host cells. They probably also participate in the interaction of the parasite with the immune system, and they could play an important role in the pathogenesis of the parasite. To identify such surface molecules, we performed subcellular fractionation studies of isolated N. caninum tachyzoites. Employing the nonionic detergent Triton-X-114, we prepared a membrane fraction. Immunoblot analysis of this fraction using polyclonal antisera directed against tachyzoites of N. caninum and T. gondii resulted in the identification of a protein of approximately 43 kDa (Nc-p43). This molecule was present in two isolates of Neospora (Nc-1 and Liverpool) but was absent in Toxoplasma (RH-strain) tachyzoites. Further immunofluorescence and immunogold transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies using affinity-purified anti-Nc-p43 antibodies demonstrated the presence of this molecule on the surface of N. caninum tachyzoites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / immunology
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Neospora / immunology*
  • Protozoan Proteins / immunology*
  • Rabbits
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • Toxoplasma / immunology
  • Vero Cells


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • p43 protein, Neospora caninum