Indexed on: 26 Jan '10Published on: 26 Jan '10Published in: Parasitology Research
Naegleria fowleri is the etiologic agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rapidly fatal parasitic disease of humans. The adherence of Naegleria trophozoites to the host cell is one of the most important steps in the establishment and invasiveness of this infectious disease. Currently, little is known about the surface molecules that may participate in the interaction of N. fowleri with their target cells. In the present study, we investigated the composition of glycoconjugates present on the surface of trophozoites of the pathogenic N. fowleri and the nonpathogenic Naegleria gruberi. With the use of biotinylated lectins in western blot and flow cytometric analysis, we showed that N. fowleri trophozoites present high levels of surface glycoconjugates that contain alpha-D-mannose, alpha-D-glucose, and terminal alpha-L-fucose residues. A significant difference in the expression of these glycoconjugates was observed between N. fowleri and the nonpathogenic N. gruberi. Furthermore, we suggest that glycoconjugates that contain D-mannose and L-fucose residues participate in the adhesion of N. fowleri and subsequent damage to MDCK cells.