Allergens present in the excretory/secretory (ES) products of adult Paragonimus ohirai were biochemically identified. Immunoblot analysis using sera from P. ohirai-infected rats revealed only two allergens to be major proteins in the ES products, with apparent molecular masses (Mr) of 27 and 29 kD. As the ES products contained a high proportion of acidic and neutral cysteine proteinases, we examined whether or not the allergens and the cysteine proteinases were identical. The acidic and neutral cysteine proteinases were biochemically purified from the ES products and showed Mr of 27 and 29 kD, respectively. The two cysteine proteinases had almost identical N-terminal amino acid sequences and were reactive with specific IgE in sera from the infected rats. The allergenicity of the cysteine proteinases was confirmed by 48-hour homologous passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. Immunoblot and immunocapture assays using anti-human IgE monoclonal antibody showed that the proteinase allergens were reactive with specific IgE of patients with paragonimiasis westermani. Also, the cysteine proteinases were reactive with specific IgG of both the infected rats and the patients. Therefore the acidic and neutral cysteine proteinases prepared from the ES products of P. ohirai will be useful allergens and antigens for the immunodiagnosis of paragonimiasis.

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