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Thomsen-Friedenreich oncofetal antigen in Schistosoma mansoni: localization and immunogenicity in experimental mouse infection

  • C. THORS (a1) (a2), B. JANSSON (a3), H. HELIN (a4) and E. LINDER (a1) (a2)


Our preliminary observation, that sera from schistosomiasis patients react with carcinomas, raised the possibility of antigenic cross-reactivity. We here extend this observation to show that mice experimentally infected with Schistosoma mansoni react with human urothelial and transitional bladder carcinomas and also with a gastric carcinoma cell line, AGS. To identify cross-reacting epitopes, we looked for the expression of carcinoma markers in schistosome worms and eggs using monoclonal antibodies against tumour antigens MUC1, Tn and TF (also known as the oncofetal Thomsen-Friedenreich antigen or T antigen). Immunohistochemical staining showed that the TF-epitope is present in adult intravascular S. mansoni worms and eggs deposited in tissues of infected animals. The localization of TF-immuno-reactive material in schistosomes was seen at the parasite surface between male and female worms and around trapped eggs in the liver. This localization is consistent with the antigen being secreted. Mice experimentally infected with S. mansoni, developed circulating antibodies against the TF-epitope (identified as Gal(beta1-3) GalNAc-O-R) as seen in ELISA using TF-expressing asialoglycophorin (AGP) as antigen. The observed anti-TF response in S. mansoni-infected mice reflects the complexity of host-parasite interactions in this infection.


Corresponding author

Microbiology and Tumorbiology Center (MTC), Karolonska Institutet, Box 280, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: +46 8 457 2520. Fax: +46 8 31 05 25. E-mail:


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Thomsen-Friedenreich oncofetal antigen in Schistosoma mansoni: localization and immunogenicity in experimental mouse infection

  • C. THORS (a1) (a2), B. JANSSON (a3), H. HELIN (a4) and E. LINDER (a1) (a2)


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