ABO, Secretor and Lewis histo-blood group systems influence the digestive form of Chagas disease.
The effect of 9 monosaccharides which constitute cell surface carbohydrates on the infection of bovine embryonic skin and muscle (BESM) cells by Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes and Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites was assayed. Most of the monosaccharides tested stimulated the infection of BESM cells by T. gondii; none of the monosaccharides were inhibitory. In contrast (at a concentration of 50 mM or greater) the monosaccharides inhibited non-specifically the infection of BESM cells by T. cruzi trypomastigotes whereas the other 8 monosaccharides were ineffective. The inhibition was due to an effect on the trypomastigotes and not on the vertebrate cells. It is proposed that there is a wheat-germ agglutinin-like lectin on the T. cruzi trypomastigote surface which recognizes and attaches to an N-acetylglucosamine-containing receptor on the vertebrate cell surface prior to infection. Infection of vertebrate cells by T. gondii tachyzoites appears to be mediated by other cell surface components. If monosaccharides are involved in infection by tachyzoites, they are ones not commonly found on animal cell surfaces. Alternatively, infection of vertebrate cells by T. cruzi and T. gondii is effected by different mechanisms.