Enzymatic analysis of Blomia tropicalis and Blomia kulagini (Acari: Echimyopodidae) allergenic extracts obtained from different phases of culture growth

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The majority of important allergenic extracts from arthropods present enzymatic activity. This activity has been studied particularly in Dermatophagoides house dust mites because of its implication in the stability and immunogenicity of extracts used as tools for the diagnosis and specific treatment of allergic diseases. Extracts from cultures of Blomia tropicalis [van Bronswijk (1973a, b). Acarologia 15:477–489, 490–505] and Blomia kulagini (Zakhvatkin 1936) were used to study enzymatic profiles during three growth periods of the mite population: latency phase, maximum mite concentration during exponential growth, and drop stage. The activities of 19 enzymes were analyzed using the Api Zym system. The results show a large variety of enzymes. Some enzymatic activity was found to be (almost) exclusively attributable to mites. The activity levels of proteases, glycosidases and lipases overlapped with the growth curve. Only phosphatase activity showed no significant change during mite growth when compared with the culture medium. We suggest that the glycosidases (β-galactosidase, β-glucuronidase, β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, α-mannosidase and α-fucosidase) and proteases (leucine aminopeptidase and trypsin) may constitute suitable parameters for inclusion in the quality control process for the production of allergenic mite extracts, and may help define a new index for conducting environmental controls.

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