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      Immunological aspects ofGiardiainfections

      Parasite

      EDP Sciences

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          Abstract

          Immunodeficiency, particularly antibody deficiency, predisposes to increased intensity and persistence of Giardia infections. Giardia-infected immunocompetent hosts produce serum and intestinal antibodies against Giardia trophozoites. The number of Giardia muris trophozoites, in mice with G. muris infection, is reduced by intra-duodenal administration of anti-G. muris antibody. Giardia intestinalis antigens that are recognised by human anti-trophozoite antibodies include variable (variant-specific) and invariant proteins. Nitric oxide (NO) appears to contribute to host clearance of Giardia trophozoites. Arginine is a precursor of NO and is metabolised by Giardia trophozoites, possibly reducing its availability for generation of NO by the host. Work with mice suggests that T lymphocytes and interleukin-6 (IL-6) contribute to clearance of Giardia infection via mechanisms independent of antibodies.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Mucosal defences against Giardia.

           Lars Eckmann (2003)
          Giardia lamblia (syn. G. duodenalis or G. intestinalis), the causative agent of giardiasis, is one of the most common causes worldwide of intestinal infections in humans. Symptomatic infection is characterized by diarrhoea, epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss, yet many infections are asymptomatic. The protozoan, unicellular parasite resides in the lumen and attaches to the epithelium and overlying mucus layers but does not invade the mucosa and causes little or no mucosal inflammation. Giardiasis is normally transient, indicating the existence of effective host defences, although re-infections can occur, which may be related to differences in infecting parasites and/or incomplete immune protection. Mucosal defences against Giardia must act in the small intestinal lumen in the absence of induction by classical inflammatory mediators. Secretory IgA antibodies have a central role in anti-giardial defence. B cell-independent mechanisms also exist and can contribute to eradication of the parasite, although their identity and physiological importance are poorly understood currently. Possible candidates are nitric oxide, antimicrobial peptides such as Paneth cell alpha-defensins, and lactoferrin. Elucidation of the key anti-giardial effector mechanisms will be important for selecting the best adjuvants in the rational development of vaccination strategies against Giardia.
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            Surface antigenic variation in Giardia lamblia.

             William Nash (2002)
            Giardia lamblia, a common intestinal dwelling protozoan and a cause of diarrhoea in humans and animals world-wide, undergoes surface antigenic variation. The variant-specific surface proteins (VSPs) are a family of related, highly unusual proteins that cover the entire surface of the parasite. VSPs are cysteine-rich proteins containing many CXXC motifs, one or two GGCY motifs, a conserved hydrophobic tail and a Zn finger motif. The biological role(s) of VSPs is unclear. As VSPs are resistant to the effects of intestinal proteases, they likely allow the organism to survive in the protease-rich small intestine. Although immune escape is commonly mentioned as the reason antigenic variation occurs, VSP expression changes in vivo even in the absence of an adaptive immune system suggesting the biological role of antigenic variation is more complex. The molecular mechanisms involved in antigenic variation are not known but appear to differ from those known to occur in other protozoa.
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              Role of interleukin-6 in the control of acute and chronic Giardia lamblia infections in mice.

              In this study, we investigated the role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in Giardia lamblia infections in mice. Elevated IL-6 expression was found in wild-type mice 15 days postinfection. Furthermore, IL-6-deficient mice controlled infections only slowly although normal immunoglobulin A production was observed. Thus, IL-6 is necessary for early control of acute G. lamblia infections.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Parasite
                Parasite
                EDP Sciences
                1776-1042
                2014
                October 2014
                : 21
                :
                : 55
                Article
                10.1051/parasite/2014056
                © 2014

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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                Self URI (journal page): http://www.parasite-journal.org/

                Parasitology, Life sciences

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