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Expression of Antibodies Directed to Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Glycosphingolipids during the Course of Paracoccidioidomycosis Treatment▿

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Microbial Immunology
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a granulomatous disease caused by the dimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. The immunoglobulin classes and isotypes of antibodies directed to acidic glycosphingolipids (GSLs) and glucosylceramide of P. brasiliensis were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of sera from 31 PCM patients. The reactivities of 38 serum samples were analyzed by considering the stage of treatment: before antifungal treatment (n = 10), during 1 to 4 months of treatment (T1-4; n = 9), during 5 to 12 months of treatment (T5-12; n = 9), and posttreatment (PT; n = 10). Sera from healthy subjects (n = 12) were used as controls. Only the GSL Pb-1 antigen, which presents the carbohydrate structure Galfβ1-6(Manα1-3)Manβ1, was reactive with the PCM patient sera. The PCM patient sera did not react with Pb-2, which lacks the Galf residue and which is considered the biosynthetic precursor of Pb-1, indicating that the Galf residue is essential for antibody reactivity. The Pb-1 glycolipid from nontreated patients elicited a primary immune response with immunoglobulin M (IgM) production and subsequent switching to IgG1 production. The IgG1 titer increased after the start of antifungal treatment (T1-4 group), and general decreases in the anti-Pb-1 antibody titers were observed after 5 months of treatment (T5-12 and PT groups). The Pb-1 antigen, an acidic GSL with terminal Galf residue, has potential application as an elicitor of the host immune response in patients with PCM.

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