Role of Surface Carbohydrates in the Adaptation of Fasciola hepatica to the Intermediate Host Galba truncatula

The fluke of the liver Fasciola hepatica is a parasite that has a significant detrimental influence on the livestock sector and is also an issue for humans in various parts of the world. Lymnaeid snails serve as an essential intermediary host for F. hepatica’s multiplication and act as parasite carriers. However, the particular mechanisms through which F. hepatica has adapted to thrive in its sensitive invertebrate host are unknown.

Surface carbohydrates play an important role in cell-to-cell contacts, such as the parasite-snail relationship. Carbohydrate-binding molecules recognise them, and this is the start of the mechanisms by which parasites are able to use the specific snail host for development and proliferation.

Using lectin labelling, our team was able to identify the carbohydrates linked to the snail-pathogenic larval stages of F. hepatica, as well as the tissues of Galba truncatula, the major fasciolosis transmitter. The significance of surface carbohydrates in the parasite’s adaptation to this particular host, such as snail identification, miracidial-to-sporocyst transformation, and immune evasion, has also been investigated.

This review highlights our findings and sheds light on the critical function of surface carbohydrates in interactions with carbohydrate-binding molecules, indicating that these interactions are one of the determining elements in F. hepatica transmission by the particular vector G. truncatula.

Author (S) Details

Katya Georgieva
Department of Animal Diversity and Resources, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Acad. G. Bonchev St., Bl. 25, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria.

Veselin Nanev
Department of Experimental Parasitology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Experimental Morphology, Pathology and Anthropology with Museum, Acad. G. Bonchev St., Bl. 25, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria.

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