Serological proteome analysis for the characterization of secreted fungal protein antigens.
Defining the humoral immune response to infectious agents is important for gaining insights into infectious diseases and the response of the immune system. It can further aid development of serodiagnostic tests, discovery of vaccine antigen candidates, and immuno-epidemiological research. During the last three decades, serological proteome analyses (SERPAs) have played a significant role in characterizing the antibody response of humans or animals to fungal pathogens. SERPA combines 2D-gel electrophoresis with Western blotting. The introduction of multiplexing approaches by means of fluorescent dyes has greatly improved the reliability of the 2D technique and has boosted also the qualitative capabilities of the SERPA approach. In this chapter, we detail a SERPA protocol using fungal extracellular proteins from a fungal culture, here as an example the mold Aspergillus fumigatus.