Antibodies from dogs with canine visceral leishmaniasis recognise two proteins from the saliva of Lutzomyia longipalpis
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The saliva of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis, a major vector of Leishmania, exhibits pharmacological and immunomodulatory activities that may facilitate entry and establishment of parasites into the vertebrate host. Salivary gland components of the sand fly are, therefore, potential candidates in the development of a vaccine against human leishmaniasis. With the objective of identifying sand fly saliva proteins that could be used to immunise animals against canine visceral leishmaniasis, we have evaluated anti-saliva antibody reactivity using serum samples collected from dogs naturally infected with Leishmania chagasi. Two proteins with molecular weights of 28.6 and 47.3 kDa were recognised by dog antibodies in Western blot assays. Protein bands were excised from an SDS-PAGE gel and the sequences determined by mass spectrometry. The proteins were identified as LuLo-D7 and Lulo YELLOW, respectively. The significance of these findings in the context of the development of multi-component vaccination experiments is discussed.