Seasonal and Physiological Variations of Phlebotomus papatasi Salivary Gland Antigens in Central Iran
AbstractBackground: Sand fly saliva helps parasite establishment and induce immune responses in vertebrate hosts. In the current study, we investigated the modulation of Phlebotomus papatasi salivary gland antigen expression by seasonal and biological factors.Methods: Sand flies were grouped according to physiological stages such as unfed, fed, semi-gravid, gravid, parous, nulliparous, infected or non-infected with Leishmania major and based on the season in which they were collected. Salivary gland antigens (SGAs) were analyzed using SDS-PAGE and the antibody response against SGAs in Rhombomys opimus was determined by ELISA and Western blot.Results: The highest protein content was found in the salivary glands of unfed sand flies. The saliva content was higher in parous compared to nulliparous, in summer compared to spring, and in Leishmania-infected compared to non-infected flies. The salivary gland lysate (SGL) electrophoretic pattern variations were observed among sand flies with various physiological stages particularly from 4–9 protein bands of 14–70 kDa. The SGL of unfed and gravid flies had extra protein bands compared to fed and semi-gravid sand flies. There was missing protein bands in SGL of parous compared to nulliparous; and in summer compared to spring collected flies. Rhombomys opimus serum reacted strongly with an antigenic band of around 28 kDa in the SGL of all sand fly groups.Conclusion: Certain biological and environmental characteristics of wild populations of vector sand flies affect the protein content and antigenicity of saliva. This might have an important implication in the design of vector-based vaccines.
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