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Vet Parasitol. 2013 Sep 1;196(1-2):235-40. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.01.028. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Surface associated antigens of Dirofilaria immitis adult worms activate the host fibrinolytic system.

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Laboratory of Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Institute of Biomedical Research of Salamanca (IBSAL), University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain.


Cardiopulmonary dirofilariosis (Dirofilaria immitis) is characterized by apparent contradictory events, like the long-term survival of adult worms in the circulatory system of the infected hosts and the development of life-threatening events like thromboembolisms and others. Thus parasite mechanisms, like the activation of fibrinolytic system, are key to the survival of both the worms and the host. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between D. immitis adult worms surface-associated antigens (DiSAA) and the fibrinolytic system of the host. We demonstrate that DiSAA extract is able to bind plasminogen and generate plasmin, with the latter occurring in a tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) dependent manner. Additionally, 11 plasminogen-binding proteins from DiSAA extract were identified by proteomics and mass spectrometry (MS) (actin-5C, actin-1, enolase, fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, GAPDH, MSP domain protein, MSP 2, beta-galactosidase-binding-lectin, galectin, immunoglobulin I-set domain-containing protein and cyclophilin Ovcyp-2). Because in a previous work we have shown the positive interaction between the excretory/secretory antigens of D. immitis (DiES) and the host fibrinolytic system and many of the molecules identified here are shared by both antigens, we hypothesize that DiSAA cooperate in host fibrinolytic system activation promoting the fibrin clot lysis.


Dirofilaria immitis; Fibrinolysis; Plasminogen binding; Surface associated antigens

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