Cathepsin B proteases of flukes: The key to facilitating parasite control?

Peter Maurice Smooker, Rama Jayaraj, Robert Neil Pike, Terence W Spithill

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Cysteine proteases are important virulence factors for parasites. This review will focus on the cathepsin B proteases of trematodes (also known as flukes) which are abundant in juvenile and immature flukes. Recent research, primarily in Fasciola, using inhibitors, RNA interference (RNAi) and vaccination studies indicates that cathepsin Bs play a key role in the biology of trematodes. As these proteases are largely expressed by infective parasite stages, their inactivation by chemotherapy or vaccination will greatly reduce the damage wrought by flukes as they invade host tissues. This validates cathepsin Bs as key strategic targets for fluke control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506 - 514
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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