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1.  Galleria mellonella are resistant to Pneumocystis murina infection 
Mycopathologia  2010;171(4):273-277.
Studying Pneumocystis has proven to be a challenge from the perspective of propagating a significant amount of the pathogen in a facile manner. The study of several fungal pathogens has been aided by the use of invertebrate model hosts. Our efforts to infect the invertebrate larvae Galleria mellonella with Pneumocystis proved futile since P. murina neither caused disease nor was able to proliferate within G. mellonella. It did, however, show that the pathogen could be rapidly cleared from the host.
PMCID: PMC3634573  PMID: 20922567
Galleria mellonella; infection model; Pneumocystis murina
2.  Discordant antibody and cellular responses to Pneumocystis major surface glycoprotein variants in mice 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:39.
The major surface glycoprotein (Msg) of Pneumocystis is encoded by approximately 50 to 80 unique but related genes. Msg diversity may represent a mechanism for immune escape from host T cell responses. We examined splenic T cell proliferative and cytokine as well as serum antibody responses to recombinant and native Pneumocystis antigens in immunized or Pneumocystis-infected mice. In addition, immune responses were examined in 5 healthy humans.
Proliferative responses to each of two recombinant Msg variant proteins were seen in mice immunized with either recombinant protein, but no proliferation to these antigens was seen in mice immunized with crude Pneumocystis antigens or in mice that had cleared infection, although the latter animals demonstrated proliferative responses to crude Pneumocystis antigens and native Msg. IL-17 and MCP-3 were produced in previously infected animals in response to the same antigens, but not to recombinant antigens. Antibody responses to the recombinant P. murina Msg variant proteins were seen in all groups of animals, demonstrating that all groups were exposed to and mounted immune responses to Msg. No human PBMC samples proliferated following stimulation with P. jirovecii Msg, while antibody responses were detected in sera from 4 of 5 samples.
Cross-reactive antibody responses to Msg variants are common, while cross-reactive T cell responses are uncommon; these results support the hypothesis that Pneumocystis utilizes switching of Msg variant expression to avoid host T cell responses.
PMCID: PMC3411419  PMID: 22788748
Antigenic variation; Immune response; Major surface glycoprotein; Pneumocystis
3.  Four-Antigen Mixture Containing V-Cyclin for Serological Screening of Human Herpesvirus 8 Infection▿  
Improved diagnostic reagents and testing are currently needed for the serological detection of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infections. We evaluated the luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS) for profiling antibody responses to a panel of HHV-8 proteins for diagnosis of Kaposi sarcoma (KS)-infected individuals. Using a pilot serum set, LIPS detected robust antibody responses to several known antigens, and a screen of 14 additional HHV-8 proteins identified v-cyclin as a potentially new diagnostic antigen. In evaluating a training-serum set, a four-antigen panel (K8.1, v-cyclin, ORF65, and a LANA fragment) was found to provide sufficient information for diagnosis. Analysis of a validation serum set using the combined results from these four separate antigen tests showed 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Furthermore, a LIPS format using a mixture of the four antigens, which simplifies data collection and analysis, closely matched the diagnostic performance of the combined separate tests (R = 0.95). This four-antigen mixture format analyzed with the validation serum set also showed 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity but was not statistically different from two separate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (94% sensitivity and 100% specificity) using baculovirus-produced LANA and bacterially produced K8.1. Heat map analysis of KS patient antibody titers revealed marked heterogeneity in humoral responses to this four-antigen panel. Overall, the LIPS assay showed 97% sensitivity, and positive anti-v-cyclin antibodies were detected in approximately 75% of the KS sera. These results suggest that LIPS screening using an antigen mixture is a sensitive and high-throughput method for serological screening of HHV-8 infection in individuals with KS.
PMCID: PMC2681582  PMID: 19261774

Results 1-3 (3)