Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:277 issue:20 pages:17544-17547
Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous, unicellular, eukaryotic parasite with a complex intracellular life cycle capable of invading and chronically infecting a wide variety of vertebrate host species, including man. Although normally opportunistic in healthy adults, it is a lethal pathogen in immunocompromised humans, particularly in AIDS patients. We present the application of a genomic phage display as a tool for the direct identification of antigens with potential value in diagnosis and/or as subunit vaccine components. Using a polycosmid cloning strategy, we constructed a large phagemid display library (>10(9) independent clones) of mixed short genomic restriction fragments (less than or equal to500 bp) of T. gondii genomic DNA (80 Mbp genome size) fused to gene III of the filamentous phage M13. Biopanning of the library with monoclonal Toxoplasma antibodies resulted in the isolation and identification of an epitope of GRA3, an antigen located in the dense granules of T. gondii tachyzoites. The reactivity of the phage displaying the GRA3 epitope with the monoclonal antibody was confirmed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These results demonstrate the accessibility of midsized eukaryotic genomes to display technology and the feasibility to screen these whole genome display libraries with antibodies for isolating novel antigenic determinants.