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Int J Parasitol. 2005 Nov;35(13):1385-97. Epub 2005 Jul 18.

Proteome of Aedes aegypti larvae in response to infection by the intracellular parasite Vavraia culicis.

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GEMI, UMR CNRS/IRD 2724, Centre IRD de Montpellier, 911 Avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


We report on the modification of the Aedes aegypti larval proteome following infection by the microsporidian parasite Vavraia culicis. Mosquito larvae were sampled at 5 and 15 days of age to compare the effects of infection when the parasite was in two different developmental stages. Modifications of the host proteome due to the stress of infection were distinguished from those of a more general nature by treatments involving hypoxia. We found that the major reaction to stress was the suppression of particular protein spots. Older (15 days) larvae reacted more strongly to infection by V. culicis (46% of the total number of spots affected; 17% for 5 days larvae), while the strongest reaction of younger (5 days) larvae was to hypoxia for pH range 5-8 and to combined effects of infection and hypoxia for pH range 3-6. MALDI-TOF results indicate that proteins induced or suppressed by infection are involved directly or indirectly in defense against microorganisms. Finally, our MALDI-TOF results suggest that A. aegypti larvae try to control or clear V. culicis infection and also that V. culicis probably impairs the immune defense of this host via arginases-NOS competition.

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