Tracking the odysseys of juvenile schistosomes to understand host interactions

Jones, Malcolm K., Lustigman, Sara, and Loukas, Alex (2008) Tracking the odysseys of juvenile schistosomes to understand host interactions. PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease, 2 (7). e257. pp. 1-2.

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[Extract] The prospects confronting a "new-born" schistosome cercaria are formidable. That some of these microscopic helminths successfully negotiate the tortuous route from snail to human vasculature is a truly remarkable feature of adaptive biology. After escaping the birth pore of its parental sporocyst, a cercaria (at least we infer from studies of other digeneans [1]) swims and crawls through the snail body cavity before it burrows through a pre-formed escape tunnel to the aquatic environment. Once in that milieu, a cyclical suite of swimming behaviours positions the cercaria for its potential assault on the skin of an available host, should one appear. Upon skin penetration, the larva (now called a schistosomulum) sits within the skin for up to 72 hours before tracking to the lung, whereupon it re-enters a second static phase. This journey takes the organism through three distinct environments (five if we include the solid integuments of snail and human hosts), incorporates a wholesale remodelling of the surface membrane, and includes two poorly understood periods of relative immobility in the skin and the lung. Further development in the liver is required before the adults reach their ultimate destination in the vasculature of the intestine or bladder. How the juvenile stages of schistosomes negotiate these environments is of intense interest, not the least because protective immunity in schistosome infections, when it occurs, appears to be directed against the early intra-host stages, with the principal target being the lung stage schistosomulum [2].

Item ID: 36716
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1935-2735
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© 2008 Jones et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2014 04:43
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
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