The identification and characterization of two murine mAb (TCN-1 and TCN-2) that react with the neuraminidase of Trypanosoma cruzi is reported. The mAb were identified based on their ability to inhibit enzyme activity and recognize neuraminidase in crude enzyme preparations. TCN-1 and TCN-2 recognized Ag in tissue culture trypomastigotes but not in the amastigotes, epimastigotes, or metacyclic trypomastigotes using immunoblot assays and immunofluorescence. In addition, clones Y-H6, MV-13, and Silvio X-10/4 of T. cruzi revealed a unique banding pattern characteristic of each clone. In Silvio X-10/4, the mAb recognized four distinct bands ranging from 121,000 to 203,000 whereas in Y-H6 and MV-13 they identified bands ranging from 138,000 to 222,000. Characterization of neuraminidase by two-dimensional PAGE revealed the polypeptides that make up the enzyme to have isoelectrical points ranging from 6.55 to 7.30. Immunofluorescence and C-mediated lysis assays showed that the mAb reacted with a subset of trypomastigotes representing 28% of the total parasite population. Functional studies showed that the mAb enhanced infection of cultured cells by trypomastigotes. Our experiments confirm previous findings with polyclonal Ab and are in accordance with the hypothesis that neuraminidase modulates infection through a negative control mechanism.

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