Infection with the parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis is initiated when the L1 larva invades host intestinal epithelial cells. Monoclonal antibodies specific for glycans on the larval surface and secreted glycoproteins protect the intestine against infection. Protective antibodies recognize tyvelose which caps the target glycan. In this study, we used an in vitro model of invasion to further examine the mechanism(s) by which tyvelose-specific antibodies protect epithelial cells against T. spiralis. Using cell lines that vary in susceptibility to invasion, we confirmed and clarified the results of our in vivo studies by documenting three modes of interference: exclusion of larvae from cells, encumbrance of larvae as they migrated within epithelial monolayers, and inhibition of parasite development. Excluded larvae bear cephalic caps (C. S. McVay et al., Infect. Immun. 66:1941–1945, 1998) of immune complexes that may physically block invasion or may interfere with sensory reception. Monovalent Fab fragments prepared from a tyvelose-specific antibody also excluded larvae from cells, demonstrating that antibody binding can inhibit the parasite in the absence of antigen aggregation and cap formation. In contrast, encumbered larvae caused extensive damage to the monolayer yet were not successful in establishing a niche, as reflected by their failure to molt. These results show that antibodies to tyvelose exhibit multiple modes of inhibitory activity, further implicating tyvelose-bearing glycoproteins as mediators of invasion and niche establishment by T. spiralis
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