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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 365403, 10 pages
Research Article

High Molecular Weight Proteins of Trypanosoma cruzi Reduce Cross-Reaction with Leishmania spp. in Serological Diagnosis Tests

1Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México C.U., Avenida Universidad No. 3000 Col., Deleg. Coyoacán, 04510 México, DF, Mexico
2Centro Médico Nacional “La Raza”, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Calzada Vallejo Sin Número, Colonia La Raza, Deleg. Azcapotzalco, 02990 México, DF, Mexico

Received 28 February 2014; Revised 7 June 2014; Accepted 16 June 2014; Published 20 July 2014

Academic Editor: Miriam Rodriguez-Sosa

Copyright © 2014 Alejandra Yunuen Cervantes-Landín et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Because of its distribution throughout Latin America, sometimes it can overlap with other parasitic diseases, such as leishmaniasis, caused by Leishmania spp. This might represent a problem when performing serological diagnosis, because both parasites share antigens, resulting in cross-reactions. In the present work we evaluated Mexican sera samples: 83.8% of chagasic patients recognized at least one antigen of high molecular weight (>95 kDa) when evaluated by Western blot. Proteins of 130 kDa and 160 kDa are predominantly being recognized by asymptomatic chagasic patients. When the proteins were extracted using Triton X-100 detergent, a larger number of specific T. cruzi proteins were obtained. This protein fraction can be used to increase specificity to 100% in Western blot assays without losing sensitivity of the test. High molecular weight proteins of T. cruzi include glycoproteins with a great amount of αMan (α-mannose), αGlc (α-glucose), GlcNAc (N-acetylglucosamine), and αGal (α-galactose) content and these structures play an essential role in antigens recognition by antibodies present in patients’ sera.