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Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1550; doi:10.3390/molecules22091550

Acetylcholinesterase and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Schistosomes and Other Parasitic Helminths

1
Molecular Parasitology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Division, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland 4006, Australia
2
Parasitology Laboratory, School of Animal Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract

Schistosomiasis, which is caused by helminth trematode blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma, is a serious health and economic problem in tropical areas, and the second most prevalent parasitic disease after malaria. Currently, there is no effective vaccine available and treatment is entirely dependent on a single drug, praziquantel (PZQ), raising a significant potential public health threat due to the emergence of PZQ drug resistance. It is thus urgent and necessary to explore novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of schistosomiasis. Previous studies demonstrated that acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play important roles in the schistosome nervous system and ion channels, both of which are targeted by a number of currently approved and marketed anthelminthic drugs. To improve understanding of the functions of the cholinergic system in schistosomes, this article reviews previous studies on AChE and nAChRs in schistosomes and other helminths and discusses their potential as suitable targets for vaccine development and drug design against schistosomiasis. View Full-Text
Keywords: schistosome; acetylcholinesterase; nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; drug targets; vaccine targets schistosome; acetylcholinesterase; nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; drug targets; vaccine targets
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MDPI and ACS Style

You, H.; Liu, C.; Du, X.; McManus, D.P. Acetylcholinesterase and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Schistosomes and Other Parasitic Helminths. Molecules 2017, 22, 1550.

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