Chagas'disease constitutes one of the most serious health problems of Latin America. Our aim is to characterize two antigens that may be involved on pathology and also may be good candidates for diagnostic and then to study the cellular immune response against them and their possible use in diagnostic. We plan to purify, clone and express recombinant GP 50/55 and the antigen (UA) detected in urinary specimens during T.cruzi recent infection. Autoimmunity and not direct parasite pathology is recognized as the main cause of pathogenicity. Only 15-20% of the chronic Chagasic patient will develop autoimmunity. The reasons for this are unknown. It has been proposed that different sets of autoantibodies may be produced in different patients leading to different clinical manifestations. If this is the case the detection of those antibodies may have a role in diagnosis and even prognosis of the disease. In this regard, we think it is worth to explore the relationship of autoantibodies against GP 50/55 crossreactive with human lymphocytes and the pathology in the acute and chronic phase that could eventually lead to a differential diagnostic procedure.
The production of recombinant UA antigen would allow us to obtain a monoclonal antibodies, in order to develop a new and higly sensitive method which is non invasive, in difference from the actual in use, for an early Chagas'disease diagnosis. Moreover, simpler procedures based on the monoclonal antibody could be adapted for field conditions..
Regarding to the immune response against T.cruzi, T cells contribute to the eradication of the pathogen most likely by releasing lymphokines which in turn activate different parasiticidal mechanisms of phagocytes. We will try to investigate the relevance of those lymphokines and the different immune responses in the resistance against infection. Such study will help to define a pattern of protective vs pathogenic immune response. This is important before a vaccine could ever be implemented.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1425 Buenos Aires