Fasciola hepatica: rapid switching of stage-specific antigen expression after infection Academic Article uri icon


  • Early developmental stages of the trematode parasite Fasciola hepatica were collected from the peritoneal cavity and liver of mice during a ten day infection period. Using one dimensional SDS-PAGE, differences in protein expression profiles were observed in stages collected on the same day post-infection in different physiological locations and also in juvenile parasites collected from the same location on different days post-infection. Four rat monoclonal antibodies were raised against the parasite using lymph nodes draining infected tissues. Three monoclonal antibodies, FY3-1, FY3-2 and FY4-7, were generated using cells from the mesenteric lymph node of recently challenged immune rats, while FY1-6 was derived from hepatic lymph node cells of a chronically infected rat. The epitope recognized by FY3-2 appeared to be carbohydrate in nature and was present on the surface of newly excysted juveniles. Immunoblots revealed that the antigens recognized by FY3-1, FY3-2 and FY4-7 were only expressed for two days after infection. In contrast, FY1-6 recognized epitopes expressed across all developmental stages screened. The rapid changes in protein and antigen expression observed during the early stages of infection may assist the parasite to evade the host immune response.

publication date

  • March 1996