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Parasite. 2019;26:52. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2019055. Epub 2019 Aug 23.

Gene expression profiles of antigenic proteins of third stage larvae of the zoonotic nematode Anisakis pegreffii in response to temperature conditions.

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Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Section of Parasitology, and "Umberto I" Academic Hospital "Sapienza - University of Rome", P.le Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, Tuscia University, Viale dell'Università s/n, 01100 Viterbo, Italy.
Department of Experimental Medicine, "Sapienza-University of Rome", P.le Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.


Anisakis pegreffii, a recognised etiological agent of human anisakiasis, is a parasite of homeothermic hosts at the adult stage and of ectothermic hosts at the third larval stage. Among distinct factors, temperature appears to be crucial in affecting parasite hatching, moulting and to modulate parasite-host interaction. In the present study, we investigated the gene transcripts of proteins having an antigenic role among excretory secretory products (ESPs) (i.e., a Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor, A.peg-1; a glycoprotein, A.peg-7; and the myoglobin, A.peg-13) after 24 h, in A. pegreffii larvae maintained in vitro, under controlled temperature conditions. Temperatures were 37 °C and 20 °C, resembling respectively homeothermic and ectothermic hosts conditions, and 7 °C, the cold stress condition post mortem of the fish host. Primers of genes coding for these ESPs to be used in quantitative real-time PCR were newly designed, and qRT-PCR conditions developed. Expression profiles of the genes A.peg-1 and A.peg-13 were significantly up-regulated at 20 °C and 37 °C, with respect to the control (larvae kept at 2 °C for 24 h). Conversely, transcript profiles of A.peg-7 did not significantly change among the chosen temperature conditions. In accordance with the observed transcript profiles, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) revealed the presence of the three target ESPs at 37 °C, while only A.peg-13 was observed at 7 °C. The results suggest that temperature conditions do regulate the gene expression profiles of A.peg-1 and A.peg-13 in A. pegreffii larvae. However, regulation of the glycoprotein A.peg-7 is likely to be related to other factors such as the host's immune response.

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