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Parasitic Infections.


Essentials of Glycobiology. 2nd edition. Cold Spring Harbor (NY): Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 2009. Chapter 40.


Many parasitic protozoans and helminths synthesize unusual glycan structures and glycan-binding proteins (GBPs) that are often antigenic and involved in host invasion and parasitism. This chapter discusses these parasites and the roles of glycoconjugates in the disease process. Protozoan parasites have evolved unique lifestyles: They shuttle between insect vectors and vertebrate hosts, encountering extremely harsh environments specifically designed to keep microbial invaders at bay. Their survival strategies frequently involve the participation of glycoconjugates that form a protective barrier against hostile forces. The diversity of the glycoconjugate structures and the range of functions that have been ascribed to parasite glycoconjugates, from host-cell invasion to deception of the host’s immune system, are remarkable.

Copyright © 2009, The Consortium of Glycobiology Editors, La Jolla, California

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