Cryptosporidium parvum is an important diarrhea-causing protozoan parasite of immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. Immunoglobulin A (IgA) has been implicated in resistance to mucosal infections with bacteria, viruses, and parasites, but little is known about the role of IgA in the control of C. parvum infection. We assessed the role of IgA during C. parvum infection in neonatal mice. IgA-secreting hybridomas were developed by using Peyer's patch lymphocytes from BALB/c mice which had been orally inoculated with viable C. parvum oocysts. Six monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were selected for further study based on indirect immunofiuorescence assay reactivity with sporozoite and merozoite pellicles and the antigen (Ag) deposited on glass substrate by gliding sporozoites. Each MAb was secreted in dimeric form and recognized a 23-kDa sporozoite Ag in Western immunoblots. The Ag recognized comigrated in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with P23, a previously defined neutralization-sensitive zoite pellicle Ag. MAbs were evaluated for prophylactic or therapeutic efficacy against C. parvum, singly and in combinations, in neonatal BALB/c mice. A combination of two MAbs given prophylactically prior to and 12 h following oocyst challenge reduced the number of intestinal parasites scored histologically by 21.1% compared to the numbers in mice given an isotype-matched control MAb (P < 0.01). Individual MAbs given therapeutically in nine doses over a 96-h period following oocyst challenge increased efficacy against C. parvum infection. Four MAbs given therapeutically each reduced intestinal infection 34.4 to 42.2% compared to isotype-matched control MAb-treated mice (P < 0.05). One MAb reduced infection 63.3 and 72.7% in replicate experiments compared to isotype-matched control MAb-treated mice (P < 0.0001). We conclude that IgA MAbs directed to neutralization-sensitive P23 epitopes may have utility in passive immunization against murine C. parvum infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases