Identification of immunoreactive proteins in secretions of Leishmania infantum promastigotes: an immunoproteomic approach
Background: In the Mediterranean region, Leishmania infantum is the main cause of visceral leishmaniasis. Dogs with canine visceral leishmaniasis are an important reservoir of visceral leishmaniasis. Control of canine visceral leishmaniasis could disrupt transmission of visceral leishmaniasis to humans. The secreted antigens of Leishmania promastigotes are potential stimuli of the host immune system. Proteomic techniques facilitate the identification of new protein markers. Aims: This study aimed to identify immunoreactive proteins in the secretions of L. infantum promastigotes which could be possible targets for the diagnosis and treatment of canine visceral leishmaniasis and the development of vaccines against the disease. Methods: Secretions of L. infantum promastigotes were obtained from the cultivation of 6 x 10(9) promastigotes in serum-free RPMI-1640 medium during a period of 72 h. After deionization and lyophilization, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was used for protein separation followed by Western blotting. Thirteen common and repeatable immunoreactive spots were analysed by mass spectrometry. Results: Nine proteins were identified by spectrometry. Most of these proteins were involved in metabolism pathways, survival and pathogenicity of Leishmania parasites. Phospholipase C, immune inhibitor A, chitin-binding protein and a single peptide match to chain A crystal structure of selenomethionine were observed in the secretions of L. infantum promastigotes. Conclusions: The proteins identified in metabolism pathways, survival and pathogenicity of Leishmania parasites are possible targets that could be used for the diagnosis and treatment of canine visceral leishmaniasis and the development of vaccines against the disease in the future.