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Mar Drugs. 2012 Jan;10(1):84-105. doi: 10.3390/md10010084. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Tasco®: a product of Ascophyllum nodosum enhances immune response of Caenorhabditis elegans against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.

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Department of Environmental Sciences, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, P.O. Box 550, Truro, NS B2B 5E3, Canada.


The effects of Tasco®, a product made from the brown seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) were tested for the ability to protect Caenorhabditis elegans against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. A water extract of Tasco® (TWE) reduced P. aeruginosa inflicted mortality in the nematode. The TWE, at a concentration of 300 µg/mL, offered the maximum protection and induced the expression of innate immune response genes viz.; zk6.7 (Lypases), lys-1 (Lysozyme), spp-1 (Saponin like protein), f28d1.3 (Thaumatin like protein), t20g5.7 (Matridin SK domain protein), abf-1 (Antibacterial protein) and f38a1.5 (Lectin family protein). Further, TWE treatment also affected a number of virulence components of the P. aeuroginosa and reduced its secreted virulence factors such as lipase, proteases and toxic metabolites; hydrogen cyanide and pyocyanin. Decreased virulence factors were associated with a significant reduction in expression of regulatory genes involved in quorum sensing, lasI, lasR, rhlI and rhlR. In conclusion, the TWE-treatment protected the C. elegans against P. aeruginosa infection by a combination of effects on the innate immunity of the worms and direct effects on the bacterial quorum sensing and virulence factors.


Tasco®; Ascophyllum nodosum; Caenorhabiditis elegans; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; gene expression; innate immunity; quorum sensing; virulence factors

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