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Production of a kinesin-related recombinant protein (Lbk39) from Leishmania braziliensis by Leishmania tarentolae promastigotes and its application in the serodiagnosis of leishmaniasis

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Article number100111
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>One Health
Number of pages8
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date31/10/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The leishmaniases are multifactorial zoonotic diseases requiring a multidisciplinary One Health approach for diagnosis and control. For leishmaniasis diagnosis, here we describe production of a new recombinant protein based on a kinesin-related gene of Leishmania braziliensis (Lbk39), which shows 59% amino acid identity to the L. infantum homologue. The Lbk39 gene was synthesized, inserted into the pLEXSY-sat2 vector and transfected into L. tarentolae cells by electroporation. Culturing was carried out, and the secreted recombinant protein with a C-terminal histidine tag purified using nickel affinity chromatography on the culture supernatant, yielding a final product at 0.4 mg/mL. An indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was standardised using sera from 74 Brazilian patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis and 11 with visceral leishmaniasis. Optimal ELISA conditions were established for the Lbk39 antigen in comparison with a crude extract from L. braziliensis. The sensitivity, specificity analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve were determined with a significance level of 5%. The ROC curve showed a good accuracy with an area under curve (AUC) = 0.967, p < 0.001 (0.941–0.993) for CL patients and an AUC = 100 (100-100) for VL patients. The values of sensitivity and specificity were 88 and 98% for CL and 100 and 100% for VL, respectively. The study showed good production and expression of the target protein and has generated a potential new antigen for the diagnosis of leishmaniasis.