Detection of microsporidia spore-specific antigens by monoclonal antibodies

Hybridoma. 1998 Jun;17(3):237-43. doi: 10.1089/hyb.1998.17.237.


Microsporidia (phylum Microspora) are unicellular parasites commonly found in invertebrates, fish, and laboratory animals; however, microsporidiosis is an emerging problem in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The infective stage of these parasites is the spore, which possesses a rigid cell wall that protects the parasite outside its host. Little is known about their antigenic composition. Sensitive, reliable, and easily performed methods for identification and speciation are generally not available. Here, we report the production of 21 MAbs specific to spore antigens of several species of Microsporidia. MAbs were generated to purified spores of Encephalitozoon intestinalis and Encephalitozoon hellem, and their reactivities were tested against spores and intracellular developing forms of E. intestinalis, E. hellem, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, and Vittaforma corneae. Both species-specific and broad-reactivity MAbs were produced. Five MAbs reacted against the spores of all four species tested: 7 with 3 species, 6 with 2 species, 1 with E. intestinalis, and 4 with the polar tube of all species. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the reactivity of specific MAbs to the spore wall or the polar tube. These MAbs reacted to a few antigens as determined by Western blot, and none of the epitopes were periodate-sensitive. These MAbs may be useful in the diagnosis and speciation of Microsporidia as well in the purification, cloning, and detection of these antigens.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / isolation & purification
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Microsporida / immunology*
  • Spores / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan