Research Article

Species-specific antigens in salivary glands of phlebotomine sandflies

P.  VOLF  a1 c1 and I.  ROHOUŠOVÁ  a1
a1 Department of Parasitology, Charles University, Vinicna 7, 128 44 Prague 2, Czech Republic

Medline query on article authors



Saliva inoculated by sandfly females during feeding stimulated production of high levels of anti-saliva antibodies. To determine whether 3 species of the genus Phlebotomus have species-specific salivary antigens we performed dot-blots and immunoblots using sera from mice, hamsters and rabbits repeatedly bitten by sandflies. Important differences were found in the antigen components of the salivary gland lysates (SGL) of Phlebotomus papatasi, P. perniciosus and P. halepensis. In total 4–9 species-specific antigens were detected in each species by immunoblotting. Cross-reactivity was not detected between P. papatasi and the other species tested; in the SGL of P. papatasi sera from animals bitten by this species recognized 5–7 major antigens while sera from animals bitten by other species did not react. A weak cross-reaction was observed between P. perniciosus and P. halepensis; in SGL from P. perniciosus, the sera from rabbits and hamsters bitten by this species recognized about 8 intense bands while sera from animals bitten by P. halepensis reacted weakly with up to 4 saliva polypeptides.

(Received January 31 2000)
(Revised July 5 2000)
(Accepted July 19 2000)

Key Words: Phlebotomus spp.; Leishmania spp.; sandfly; saliva; immunoglobulin.

c1 Corresponding author. Tel: +4202 21953196. Fax: +4202 24919704. E-mail: