Parasites Breakdown Mucous Barrier
Forum: Ask Microbe Detectives
- Parasites Breakdown Mucous Barrier
Ask Microbe Detectiv
Parasites break down mucous barrier in intestines to infect host
The parasite that causes amoeba dysentery makes its way into the intestines by secreting an enzyme that dissolves the protective mucous layer of the intestines. This has been shown by researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University in Sweden.
This is the first time it has been elucidated how the pathogenic organism goes about penetrating a protective mucous layer. The findings are presented in the latest issue of the prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S.
The parasite Entamoeba histolytica is extremely common, but many people live with the amoeba in their body without noticing it. Some 500 million people around the world carry the parasite, but only one tenth of them develop symptoms.
The amoeba can infect the large intestine and cause bloody diarrhea. If the parasite penetrates further into the body, it can form cysts in the liver, and the disease can be fatal.
The stomach and intestines are protected by a layer of mucous that is extra thick and dense in the large intestine. This mucous is made up of large carbohydrate-rich protein molecules called mucins. The mucous layer forms a barrier that is difficult to penetrate and normally cannot be broken down, but organisms that cause disease in the large intestine nevertheless managed to get through.
The article shows that the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica secrets specific protein-cleaving enzymes that can split the mucin, causing the network to collapse.
“The amoeba enzyme cleaves the mucin at a very particular and unusual protein sequence. This allows the amoeba to bore through the mucous layer like a projectile and infect the underlying epithelial cells of the intestine,” says research Martin Lidell.
In the Third World nearly 100,000 people die each year as a result of complications following amoeba infections.
“We now have a better understanding of amoeba infections, and this knowledge provides us with the possibility of designing drugs that can prevent the amoeba from breaking down the mucous barrier and thereby infect the person,” says Professor Gunnar C. Hansson, who directs mucin biological research at the Sahlgrenska Academy.
This research is being carried out in collaboration with amoeba experts in Canada.
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.
Title of article: Entamoeba histolytica cysteine proteases cleave the MUC2 mucin in its C-terminal domain and dissolve the protective colonic mucus gel
Authors: Martin E. Lidell, Darcy M. Moncada, Kris Chadee, and Gunnar C. Hansson
Alert Webmaster & Moderators|
Attributes associated with this message:
You can PM rabbitears email rabbitears
|DISCLAIMER Information available on this page and on CureZone is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by a healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on CureZone for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. Answers, comments and opinions provided on CureZone are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. CureZone does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in messages, comments or articles on CureZone. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. Read more ...||