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Biomedical Sciences

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Published Version

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PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases





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The filarial nematode Brugia malayi is an etiological agent of Lymphatic Filariasis. The capability of B. malayi and other parasitic nematodes to modulate host biology is recognized but the mechanisms by which such manipulation occurs are obscure. An emerging paradigm is the release of parasite-derived extracellular vesicles (EV) containing bioactive proteins and small RNA species that allow secretion of parasite effector molecules and their potential trafficking to host tissues. We have previously described EV release from the infectious L3 stage B. malayi and here we profile vesicle release across all intra-mammalian life cycle stages (microfilariae, L3, L4, adult male and female worms). Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis was used to quantify and size EVs revealing discrete vesicle populations and indicating a secretory process that is conserved across the life cycle. Brugia EVs are internalized by murine macrophages with no preference for life stage suggesting a uniform mechanism for effector molecule trafficking. Further, the use of chemical uptake inhibitors suggests all life stage EVs are internalized by phagocytosis. Proteomic profiling of adult male and female EVs using nano-scale LC-MS/MS described quantitative and qualitative differences in the adult EV proteome, helping define the biogenesis of Brugia EVs and revealing sexual dimorphic characteristics in immunomodulatory cargo. Finally, ivermectin was found to rapidly inhibit EV release by all Brugia life stages. Further this drug effect was also observed in the related filarial nematode, the canine heartworm Dirofilaria immitis but not in an ivermectin-unresponsive field isolate of that parasite, highlighting a potential mechanism of action for this drug and suggesting new screening platforms for anti-filarial drug development.


This article is published as Harischandra, Hiruni, Wang Yuan, Hannah J. Loghry, Mostafa Zamanian, and Michael J. Kimber. "Profiling extracellular vesicle release by the filarial nematode Brugia malayi reveals sex-specific differences in cargo and a sensitivity to ivermectin." PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12, no. 4 (2018): e0006438. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0006438. Posted with permission.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Harischandra et al.



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