Talaromyces marneffei is a dimorphic fungus that has emerged as an opportunistic pathogen particularly in individuals with HIV/AIDS. Since its dimorphism has been associated with its virulence, the transition from mold to yeast-like cells might be important for fungal pathogenesis, including its survival inside of phagocytic host cells. We investigated the expression of yeast antigen of T.marneffei using a yeast-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) 4D1 during phase transition. We found that MAb 4D1 recognizes and binds to antigenic epitopes on the surface of yeast cells. Antibody to antigenic determinant binding was associated with time of exposure, mold to yeast conversion, and mammalian temperature. We also demonstrated that MAb 4D1 binds to and recognizes conidia to yeast cells’ transition inside of a human monocyte-like THP-1 cells line. Our studies are important because we demonstrated that MAb 4D1 can be used as a tool to study T.marneffei virulence, furthering the understanding of the therapeutic potential of passive immunity in this fungal pathogenesis.
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