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Caljon G.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Caljon G.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Caljon G.,Laboratory of Myeloid Cell Immunology | De Vooght L.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Van Den Abbeele J.,Institute of Tropical Medicine
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology | Year: 2013

Blood feeding arthropods are responsible for the transmission of a large array of medically important infectious agents that include viruses, bacteria, protozoan parasites and helminths. The recent development of transgenic and paratransgenic technologies have enabled supplementing the immune system of these arthropod vectors with anti-pathogen effector molecules in view of compromising their vector competence for these microbial agents. The characteristics of the selected anti-pathogen compound will largely determine the efficacy and specificity of this approach. Low specificity will generally result in bystander effects, likely having a direct or indirect fitness cost for the arthropod. In contrast, the use of highly specific compounds from the adaptive immune system of vertebrates such as antibody derived fragments is more likely to enable highly specific effects without conferring a selective disadvantage to the (para)transgenic arthropods. Here, Nanobodies® are excellent candidates to increase the immune competence of arthropods. Moreover they were shown to exert a novel type of anti-pathogen activity that uniquely depends on their small size. © 2013 International Atomic Energy Agency. Source


Caljon G.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Caljon G.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Caljon G.,Laboratory of Myeloid Cell Immunology | Duguma R.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

Background:Tsetse flies are obligate blood-feeding insects that transmit African trypanosomes responsible for human sleeping sickness and nagana in livestock. The tsetse salivary proteome contains a highly immunogenic family of the endonuclease-like Tsal proteins. In this study, a recombinant version of Tsal1 (rTsal1) was evaluated in an indirect ELISA to quantify the contact with total Glossina morsitans morsitans saliva, and thus the tsetse fly bite exposure.Methodology/Principal Findings:Mice and pigs were experimentally exposed to different G. m. morsitans exposure regimens, followed by a long-term follow-up of the specific antibody responses against total tsetse fly saliva and rTsal1. In mice, a single tsetse fly bite was sufficient to induce detectable IgG antibody responses with an estimated half-life of 36-40 days. Specific antibody responses could be detected for more than a year after initial exposure, and a single bite was sufficient to boost anti-saliva immunity. Also, plasmas collected from tsetse-exposed pigs displayed increased anti-rTsal1 and anti-saliva IgG levels that correlated with the exposure intensity. A strong correlation between the detection of anti-rTsal1 and anti-saliva responses was recorded. The ELISA test performance and intra-laboratory repeatability was adequate in the two tested animal models. Cross-reactivity of the mouse IgGs induced by exposure to different Glossina species (G. m. morsitans, G. pallidipes, G. palpalis gambiensis and G. fuscipes) and other hematophagous insects (Stomoxys calcitrans and Tabanus yao) was evaluated.Conclusion:This study illustrates the potential use of rTsal1 from G. m. morsitans as a sensitive biomarker of exposure to a broad range of Glossina species. We propose that the detection of anti-rTsal1 IgGs could be a promising serological indicator of tsetse fly presence that will be a valuable tool to monitor the impact of tsetse control efforts on the African continent. © 2014 Caljon et al. Source


Casazza A.,Vesalius Research Center | Laoui D.,Laboratory of Myeloid Cell Immunology | Laoui D.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Wenes M.,Vesalius Research Center | And 8 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2013

Recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) into avascular areas sustains tumor progression; however, the underlying guidance mechanisms are unknown. Here, we report that hypoxia-induced Semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) acts as an attractant for TAMs by triggering vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 phosphorylation through the associated holoreceptor, composed of Neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) and PlexinA1/PlexinA4. Importantly, whereas Nrp1 levels are downregulated in the hypoxic environment, Sema3A continues to regulate TAMs in an Nrp1-independent manner by eliciting PlexinA1/PlexinA4-mediated stop signals, which retain them inside the hypoxic niche. Consistently, gene deletion of Nrp1 in macrophages favors TAMs' entrapment in normoxic tumor regions, which abates their pro-angiogenic and immunosuppressive functions, hence inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis. This study shows that TAMs' heterogeneity depends on their localization, which is tightly controlled by Sema3A/Nrp1 signaling. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source


Caljon G.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Caljon G.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Caljon G.,Laboratory of Myeloid Cell Immunology | Hussain S.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2015

Tsetse flies are the main vectors of human and animal African trypanosomes. The Tsal proteins in tsetse fly saliva were previously identified as suitable biomarkers of bite exposure. A new competitive assay was conceived based on nanobody (Nb) technology to ameliorate the detection of anti-Tsal antibodies in mammalian hosts. A camelid-derived Nb library was generated against the Glossina morsitans morsitans sialome and exploited to select Tsal specific Nbs. One of the three identified Nb families (family III, TsalNb-05 and TsalNb-11) was found suitable for anti-Tsal antibody detection in a competitive ELISA format. The competitive ELISA was able to detect exposure to a broad range of tsetse species (G. morsitans morsitans, G. pallidipes, G. palpalis gambiensis and G. fuscipes) and did not cross-react with the other hematophagous insects (Stomoxys calcitrans and Tabanus yao). Using a collection of plasmas from tsetse-exposed pigs, the new test characteristics were compared with those of the previously described G. m. moristans and rTsal1 indirect ELISAs, revealing equally good specificities (> 95%) and positive predictive values (> 98%) but higher negative predictive values and hence increased sensitivity (> 95%) and accuracy (> 95%). We have developed a highly accurate Nb-based competitive immunoassay to detect specific anti-Tsal antibodies induced by various tsetse fly species in a range of hosts. We propose that this competitive assay provides a simple serological indicator of tsetse fly presence without the requirement of test adaptation to the vertebrate host species. In addition, the use of monoclonal Nbs for antibody detection is innovative and could be applied to other tsetse fly salivary biomarkers in order to achieve a multi-target immunoprofiling of hosts. In addition, this approach could be broadened to other pathogenic organisms for which accurate serological diagnosis remains a bottleneck. © 2015 Caljon et al. Source


Chittezhath M.,Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore | Dhillon M.K.,Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore | Lim J.Y.,Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore | Laoui D.,Laboratory of Myeloid Cell Immunology | And 16 more authors.
Immunity | Year: 2014

Monocytes and macrophages are major components of the tumor microenvironment, but their contributions to human cancer are poorly understood. Weused molecular profiling combined with functional assays to investigate the role of these cells in human renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Blood monocytes fromRCC patients displayed a tumor-promoting transcriptional profile that supported functions like angiogenesis and invasion. Induction of this protumor phenotype required an interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R)-dependent mechanism. Indeed, targeting of IL-1-IL-1R axis in a human RCC xenograft model abrogated the protumor phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and reduced tumor growth invivo. Supporting this, meta-analysis of gene expression from human RCC tumors showed IL1B expression to correlate with myelomonocytic markers, protumor genes, and tumor staging. Analyzing RCC patient tumors confirmed the protumor phenotype of TAMs. These data provide direct evidence for a tumor-promoting role of monocytes and macrophages in human cancer and indicate IL-1-IL-1R as a possible therapeutic target. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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