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Abstract

Paragonimus kellicotti is a zoonotic lung fluke infection, the agent of North American paragonimiasis, and an excellent model for other Paragonimus infections. The excretory/secretory proteins (ESP) released by parasites and presented at the parasite-host interface are frequently proposed to be useful targets for drugs and/or vaccines In vitro culture conditions may alter ESP compared to those produced in vivo. In order to investigate ESPs produced in vivo we took advantage of the fact that adult P. kellicotti reproduce in the lungs of experimentally infected gerbils in tissue cysts. We performed a mass-spectrometric analysis of adult P. kellicotti soluble somatic protein (SSPs) extracts, excreted/secreted proteins (ESPs) produced by adult worms during in vitro culture, and lung cyst fluid proteins (CFPs) from experimentally infected gerbils. We identified 2,137 P. kellicotti proteins that were present in at least two of three biological replicates and supported by at least two peptides. Among those were 1,914 proteins found in SSP, 947 in ESP and 37 in CFP. In silico analysis predicted that only 141 of the total 2,137 proteins were secreted via classical or non-classical pathways. The most abundant functional categories in SSP were storage and oxidative metabolism. The most abundant categories in ESP were proteins related to metabolism and signal transduction. The 37 parasite-related proteins in CFP belonged to 11 functional categories. The largest groups were proteins with unknown function, cytoskeletal proteins and proteasome machinery. 29 of these 37 proteins were shared among all three sample types. To our knowledge, this is the first study that compares in vitro and in vivo ESP for any Paragonimus species. This study has provided new insights into ESPs of food-borne trematodes that are produced and released in vivo. Proteins released at the host-parasite interface may help the parasite evade host immunity and may represent new targets for novel treatments or diagnostic tests for paragonimiasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0010679
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

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