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Parasitol Today. 1998 Aug;14(8):318-23.

How does Trichinella spiralis make itself at home?

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Division of Environmental Health Sciences and Department of Microbiology, Columbia University, 630 West 168th St, New York City, NY 10032, USA.


The nurse cell-parasite complex of Trichinella spiralis is unlike anything else in Nature. It is derived from a normal portion of striated skeletal muscle cell and develops in a matter of 15 to 20 days after the larva invades that cell type. What are the molecular mechanisms at work that result in this unique relationship? Here, Dickson Despommier presents a hypothesis to account for its formation, in which secreted tyvelosylated proteins of the larva play a central role. These proteins are always present in the intracellular niche of the larva from Day 7 after infection and may be responsible for redirecting host genomic expression, leading to nurse cell formation.

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