Survival of Blastocystis hominis clones after exposure to a cytotoxic monoclonal antibody

Int J Parasitol. 1997 Aug;27(8):947-54. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7519(97)00066-0.


Our previous studies have shown that monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to Blastocystis hominis react mainly with carbohydrate epitopes, while 1 MAb (1D5) reacts specifically with a protein of 30.5 kDa. In the present study, 3 monoclonal antibodies (1D5, 1E7 and 4F7) were used in immunogold localization. 1E7 and 4F7 were found to react primarily with the surface coat, while 1D5 was plasma membrane-specific. In the presence of complement, only 1D5 exhibited a cytotoxic effect on B. hominis whereas 1E7 and 4F7 did not, suggesting that the surface coat of B. hominis could serve as an immunological barrier against host antibodies. Using a recently described agar plating method, only 1D5 exhibited significant (P < 0.01) complement-independent cytotoxicity to B. hominis, inhibiting colony growth at low concentrations. Parasites that had been exposed to 1D5 were morphologically smaller than those that were not exposed to this MAb. Colonies that grew in the presence of 1D5 were isolated and grown in liquid medium containing increasing amounts of the cytotoxic MAb. Two clones that grew well in liquid medium containing 1D5 were also able to develop into colonies in soft agar. This study has shown that the 30.5 kDa protein found on the plasma membrane of B. hominis is a functionally important protein and that not all cells within a certain population would be susceptible to the cytotoxic effects of 1D5. These findings suggest that a heterogenous population exists in continuously maintained cultures of B. hominis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / pharmacology*
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity*
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • Blastocystis hominis / cytology
  • Blastocystis hominis / drug effects
  • Blastocystis hominis / immunology*
  • Blastocystis hominis / ultrastructure
  • Cell Membrane / immunology
  • Clone Cells / drug effects
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Epitopes
  • Gold
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Epitopes
  • Gold