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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2003;41:245-70.

Parasitic nematode interactions with mammals and plants.

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Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 99164-7040, USA.


Parasitic nematodes that infect humans, animals, and plants cause serious diseases that are deleterious to human health and agricultural productivity. Chemical and biological control methods have reduced the impact of these parasites. However, surviving environmental stages lead to persistent reinfection of host species. In addition, development of resistance to nematicides and anthelmintics by these parasites and reduced availability of some nematicides, for environmental protection, pose significant obstacles for current and future prospects of effective parasite control. Due to marked differences in host species, research on animal and plant parasitic nematodes often proceeds independently. Despite the differences between animals and plants, basic cellular properties are shared among these host organisms. Some common properties may be important for mechanisms [homologous or convergent (homoplastic)] by which nematodes successfully infect these diverse hosts or by which animal and plant hosts resist infections by these pathogens. Here we compare host/parasite interactions between plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) and animal parasitic nematodes, with an emphasis on mammalian hosts (MPN). Similarities and differences are considered in the context of progress on molecular dissection of these interactions. A comprehensive coverage is not possible in the space allotted. Instead, an illustrative approach is used to establish examples that, it is hoped, exemplify the value of the comparative approach.

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