Learn 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)
Fasciola hepatica secretes cathepsin L proteases that facilitate the penetration of the parasite through the tissues of its host, and also participate in functions such as feeding and immune evasion. The major proteases, cathepsin L1 (FheCL1) and cathepsin L2 (FheCL2) are members of a lineage that gave rise to the human cathepsin Ls, Ks and Ss, but while(More)
Alternatively activated macrophages (AAMphi) are primarily associated with the chronic stages of parasitic infections and the development of a polarized Th2 response. We have shown that Fasciola hepatica infection of BALB/c mice induces a polarized Th2 response during both the latent and chronic stage of disease. The activation status of macrophages was(More)
During helminth infections, alternatively activated macrophages (AAMacs) are key to promoting Th2 responses and suppressing Th1-driven inflammatory pathology. Th2 cytokines IL-4 and/or IL-13 are believed to be important in the induction and activation of AAMacs. Using murine models for the helminth infections caused by Fasciola hepatica (Fh) and Schistosoma(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)
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)