Volume 66 (2004) Issue 4 Pages 403-408
The characterization of five chicken monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that were developed against apical complex antigens of Eimeria acervulina sporozoites is realized and the mAbs reactivity to merozoites belonging to this species is tested. Using immuno-fluorescence assay (IFA), one mAb (HE-4) that recognized apical antigens common to sporozoites of E. acervulina and E. brunetti bound antigens localized on the apical tip of merozoites from all stages of development examined. The mAb 8E-1, reactive with antigens found on the apical tip of all chicken Eimeria sporozoites, also showed binding to antigens common to merozoites from all generations. Another mAb, 8C-3, which identified an antigen shared by sporozoites apical tip and sporocysts wall of E. acervulina reacted very weak and inconstantly with the merozoites from all generations whereas the mAbs 5D-11 and 8D-2 that recognized antigens shared by the sporozoites of E. acervulina and E. maxima (mAb 5D-11) and E. acervulina and E. brunetti (mAb 8D-2) did not react with the merozoites from any generation. Collectively, these results showed that the invasive stages of chicken Eimeria share cross reactive apical complex antigens which are inter-species and inter-generation-specific that might be components of a potential recombinant vaccine.