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Peroxiredoxins (Prx) are a family of anti-oxidants that protect cells from metabolically produced reactive oxygen species (ROS). The presence of these enzymes in the secretomes of many parasitic helminths suggests they provide protection against ROS released by host immune effector cells. However, we recently reported that helminth-secreted Prx also(More)
Over the last decade a significant number of studies have highlighted the central role of host antimicrobial (or defence) peptides in modulating the response of innate immune cells to pathogen-associated ligands. In humans, the most widely studied antimicrobial peptide is LL-37, a 37-residue peptide containing an amphipathic helix that is released via(More)
To infect their mammalian hosts, Fasciola hepatica larvae must penetrate and traverse the intestinal wall of the duodenum, move through the peritoneum, and penetrate the liver. After migrating through and feeding on the liver, causing extensive tissue damage, the parasites move to their final niche in the bile ducts where they mature and produce eggs. Here(More)
The success of helminth parasites is partly related to their ability to modulate host immune responses towards an anti-inflammatory/regulatory phenotype. This ability resides with the molecules contained in the secretome of various helminths that have been shown to interact with host immune cells and influence their function. Consequently, there exists a(More)
The helminth parasite Fasciola hepatica secretes cathepsin L cysteine proteases to invade its host, migrate through tissues and digest haemoglobin, its main source of amino acids. Here we investigated the importance of pH in regulating the activity and functions of the major cathepsin L protease FheCL1. The slightly acidic pH of the parasite gut facilitates(More)
The liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, causes fascioliasis in domestic animals (sheep, cattle), a global disease that is also an important infection of humans. As soon as the parasite invades the gut wall its interaction with various host immune cells (e.g. dendritic cells, macrophages and mast cells) is complex. The parasite secretes a myriad of molecules(More)
Triclabendazole (TCBZ) has been the drug of choice to treat liver fluke infections in livestock for >20 years, due to its high activity against both adult and juvenile flukes. More recently, it has been used successfully to treat human cases of fascioliasis. Resistance to TCBZ first appeared in the field in Australia in the mid-1990s. Since then, resistance(More)
Helminth pathogens express papain-like cysteine peptidases, termed cathepsins, which have important roles in virulence, including host entry, tissue migration and the suppression of host immune responses. The liver fluke Fasciola hepatica, an emerging human pathogen, expresses the largest cathepsin L cysteine protease family yet described. Recent(More)
Karyotyping of Fasciola hepatica samples from Britain and Ireland has identified a triploid isolate which is effectively aspermic, rendering it necessarily asexually reproducing. Considering the extensive presence of asexually reproducing diploid and triploid Fasciola in Asia it is suggested that facultative gynogenesis is widespread in this parasite. This(More)