Proteomic analysis in Giardia duodenalis yields insights into strain virulence and antigenic variation

Samantha J. Emery, Steve Van Sluyter, Paul A. Haynes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Giardia duodenalis is a protozoan parasite of the small intestine in vertebrates, including humans. Assemblage A of G. duodenalis is one of the two discrete subtypes that infects humans, and is considered a zoonotic assemblage. Two G. duodenalis Assemblage A strains BRIS/95/HEPU/2041 and BRIS/83/HEPU/106, constituting virulent and control strains respectively, were analyzed in one of the first comparative shotgun proteomic studies performed in this parasite. Protein extracts were prepared using a multiplatform approach with both an in-gel and in-solution sample preparation to enable us to assess the complementarity for future Giardia proteomic studies. Protein analysis revealed that BRIS/95/HEPU/2041 possessed a wider and more varied repertoire of variant surface proteins (VSPs), which are hypothesized to be involved in host adaptation, immune evasion, and virulence. A total of 35 VSPs were identified, with three common to both strains, six unique to BRIS/82/HEPU/106, and twenty-six unique to BRIS/95/HEPU/2041. Additionally, up to 25.6% of all differentially expressed proteins in BRIS/95/HEPU/2041 belonged to the VSP family, a trend not seen in the control BRIS/83/HEPU/106. Greater antigen variation in BRIS/95/HEPU/2041 may explain aspects of virulence phenotypes in G. duodenalis, with a highly diverse population capable of evading host immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2523-2534
Number of pages12
Issue number21-22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


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