Table_1.xls

The diagnosis of dourine can be difficult because the clinical signs of this disease in horses are similar to those of surra, caused by Trypanosoma evansi. Moreover, T. equiperdum and T. evansi are closely related and, so far, they cannot be distinguished using serological tests. In a previous work, the T. equiperdum protein pattern recognized by antibodies from dourine-infected horses and the humoral immune response kinetics were investigated by immunoblotting assay; a total of 20 sera from naturally and experimentally infected horses and from healthy animals were tested. Immunoblotting analysis showed that antibodies from infected horses specifically bind T. equiperdum low molecular weight proteins (from 16 to 35 kDa), which are not recognized by antibodies from uninfected horses. In this work, we tested other 615 sera (7 from naturally infected horses and 608 sera from healthy horses and donkeys): results confirmed the data obtained previously. In addition, six SDS-PAGE bands with molecular weight ranging from 10 to 37 kDa were analyzed by mass spectrometry, in order to identify immunogenic proteins that could be used as biomarkers for the diagnosis of dourine. A total of 167 proteins were identified. Among them, 37 were found unique for T. equiperdum. Twenty-four of them could represent possible candidate diagnostic antigens for the development of serological tests specific for T. equiperdum.