Identification of abundant proteins and potential allergens in Culicoides nubeculosus salivary glands.Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008 Mar 15; 122(1-2):94-103.VI
IgE-mediated type 1 hypersensitivity reactions to the bites of insects are a common cause of skin disease in horses. Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) is most frequently associated with bites of Culicoides spp. and occurs in all parts of the world where horses and Culicoides coexist. The main allergens that cause IBH are probably some of the abundant proteins in the saliva of Culicoides associated with blood feeding. Western blots of Culicoides proteins separated by 1D gel-electrophoresis detected strong IgE responses in all horses with IBH to antigens in protein extracts from wild caught Culicoides, but only weak responses to salivary antigens from captive bred C. nubeculosus which may reflect important differences among allergens from different species of Culicoides or differences between thorax and salivary gland antigens. 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry were used to identify several of the abundant proteins in the saliva of C. nubeculosus. These included maltase, members of the D7 family, and several small, basic proteins associated with blood feeding. The most frequently detected IgE-binding proteins were in a group of proteins with pI>8.5 and mass 40-50kDa. Mass spectrometry identified two of these allergenic proteins as similar to hyaluronidase and a heavily glycosylated protein of unknown function that have previously been identified in salivary glands of C. sonorensis.