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Proteolysis in eggs of F. hepatica: role in pathology and its regulation

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RESLOVÁ Nikol ŠKORPÍKOVÁ Lucie ILGOVÁ Jana ROUDNICKÝ Pavel VOREL Jiří MOTYČKA Čeněk KAŠNÝ Martin

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Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

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Popis Parasites, including helminths, affect millions of people and animals worldwide and cause serious diseases. A huge number of negative economic consequences is associated with infections of livestock, mainly in sheep and cattle breedings, by flukes Fasciola hepatica. This fluke parasitizes in liver and liver bile ducts causing a disease called fasciolosis manifested by internal bleeding and liver damage which in high loads of parasites often leads to mass deaths of animals. Only within the European Union, the estimated losses in animal production caused by fasciolosis are almost EUR 900 million (CZK 23 billion) a year. The transmission of these parasites is realized via eggs, which are produced in large quantities. Therefore, trematode eggs in general are intensively studied, particularly in the context of diagnostics and monitoring of drug resistance. Moreover, the investigations of eggs of serious pathogens such as schistosomes (e.g. Schistosoma mansoni) can contribute to disclosure of their importance in host-parasite interaction; their eggs actively secrete molecules inducing inflammation and facilitating migration through host tissues. In contrast to S. mansoni, the eggs of F. hepatica probably do not have any pathogenic effect on the host, however, could serve as an appropriate comparative model system. Our project is focused on characterization of proteolytic enzymes from eggs of both S. mansoni and F. hepatica and covers the identification of proteases by functional proteomics, evaluation of their physiological role by genomic studies, followed by their recombinant expression and biochemical characterization. The obtained results could help to improve the current diagnostics, vaccine development and also therapeutic strategies.
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