Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting an Opisthorchis viverrini Extracellular Vesicle Tetraspanin Protect Hamsters against Challenge Infection

Wuttipong Phumrattanaprapin, Mark Pearson, Darren Pickering, Bemnet Tedla, Michael Smout, Sujittra Chaiyadet, Paul J. Brindley, Alex Loukas, and Thewarach Laha*

Opisthorchis viverrinicauses severe pathology in the bile ducts of infected human hosts, and chronic infection can culminate in bile duct cancer. The prevention of infection by vaccination would decrease opisthorchiasis-induced morbidity and mortality. The tetraspanin protein, Ov-TSP-2, is located on the membrane of secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs), and is a candidate antigen for inclusion in a subunit vaccine. To address the role of anti-Ov-TSP-2 antibodies in protection, we assessed the protective capacity of anti-Ov-TSP-2 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against opisthorchiasis. Two anti-TSP-2 IgM mAbs, 1D6 and 3F5, and an isotype control were passively transferred to hamsters, followed by parasite challenge one day later. Hamsters that received 3F5 had 74.5% fewer adult flukes and 67.4% fewer eggs per gram of feces compared to hamsters that received the control IgM. Both 1D6 and 3F5 (but not the control IgM) blocked the uptake of fluke EVs by human bile duct epithelial cells in vitro. This is the first report of passive immunization against human liver fluke infection, and the findings portend the feasibility of antibody-directed therapies for liver fluke infection, bolstering the selection of TSPs as components of a subunit vaccine for opisthorchiasis and fluke infections generally.

Keywords :passive immunization, monoclonal antibody,Opisthorchis viverrini, tetraspanin