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International Journal of Inflammation
Volume 2012, Article ID 512097, 6 pages
Review Article

Interface Molecules of Angiostrongylus cantonensis: Their Role in Parasite Survival and Modulation of Host Defenses

Laboratório de Biologia Parasitária Faculdade de Biociências e Laboratório de Parasitologia Molecular Instituto de Pesquisas Biomédicas Pontifícia Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), 90690-900 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 3 November 2011; Accepted 23 January 2012

Academic Editor: Kittisak Sawanyawisuth

Copyright © 2012 Alessandra L. Morassutti and Carlos Graeff-Teixeira. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a nematode parasite that causes eosinophilic meningoencephalitis in humans. Disease presents following the ingestion of third-stage larvae residing in the intermediate mollusk host and disease manifests as an acute inflammation of the meninges characterized by eosinophil infiltrates which release a battery of proinflammatory and cytotoxic agents in response to the pathogen. As a mechanism of neutralizing these host defenses, A. cantonensis expresses different molecules with immunomodulatory properties that are excreted or secreted (ES). In this paper we discuss the role of ES proteins on disease exacerbation and their potential use as therapeutic targets.