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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of Tapeworm Metabolites and Their Reported Biological Activities

Centre for Molecular Therapeutics, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD 4878, Australia
College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 266a, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
John Curtin School of Medical Research, Austalian National University, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1480;
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery of Active Ingredients from Natural Products)
Parasitic helminths infect billions of people, livestock, and companion animals worldwide. Recently, they have been explored as a novel therapeutic modality to treat autoimmune diseases due to their potent immunoregulatory properties. While feeding in the gut/organs/tissues, the parasitic helminths actively release excretory-secretory products (ESP) to modify their environment and promote their survival. The ESP proteins of helminths have been widely studied. However, there are only limited studies characterizing the non-protein small molecule (SM) components of helminth ESP. In this study, using GC-MS and LC-MS, we have investigated the SM ESP of tapeworm Dipylidium caninum (isolated from dogs) which accidentally infects humans via ingestion of infected cat and dog fleas that harbor the larval stage of the parasite. From this D. caninum ESP, we have identified a total of 49 SM (35 polar metabolites and 14 fatty acids) belonging to 12 different chemotaxonomic groups including amino acids, amino sugars, amino acid lactams, organic acids, sugars, sugar alcohols, sugar phosphates, glycerophosphates, phosphate esters, disaccharides, fatty acids, and fatty acid derivatives. Succinic acid was the major small molecule present in the D. caninum ESP. Based on the literature and databases searches, we found that of 49 metabolites identified, only 12 possessed known bioactivities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Helminths; tapeworm; excretory-secretory products; small molecules; bioactivities Helminths; tapeworm; excretory-secretory products; small molecules; bioactivities
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wangchuk, P.; Constantinoiu, C.; Eichenberger, R.M.; Field, M.; Loukas, A. Characterization of Tapeworm Metabolites and Their Reported Biological Activities. Molecules 2019, 24, 1480.

AMA Style

Wangchuk P, Constantinoiu C, Eichenberger RM, Field M, Loukas A. Characterization of Tapeworm Metabolites and Their Reported Biological Activities. Molecules. 2019; 24(8):1480.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wangchuk, Phurpa; Constantinoiu, Constantin; Eichenberger, Ramon M.; Field, Matt; Loukas, Alex. 2019. "Characterization of Tapeworm Metabolites and Their Reported Biological Activities" Molecules 24, no. 8: 1480.

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