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Juvenile-specific cathepsin proteases in Fasciola spp.: their characteristics and vaccine efficacies

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Fasciolosis, caused by Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica, is one of the most neglected tropical zoonotic diseases. One sustainable control strategy against these infections is the employment of vaccines that target proteins essential for parasites’ invasion and nutrition acquiring processes. Cathepsin proteases are the most abundantly expressed proteins in Fasciola spp. that have been tested successfully as vaccines against fasciolosis in experimental as well as large animals because of their important roles in digestion of nutrients, invasion, and migration. Specifically, juvenile-specific cathepsin proteases are the more effective vaccines because they could block the invasion and migration of juvenile parasites whose immune evasion mechanism has not yet been fully developed. Moreover, because of high sequence similarity and identity of cathepsins from juveniles with those of adults, the vaccines can attack both the juvenile and adult stages. In this article, the characteristics and vaccine potentials of juvenile-specific cathepsins, i.e., cathepsins L and B, of Fasciola spp. were reviewed.

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This review article was supported by Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, and the Thailand Research Fund.

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Correspondence to Krai Meemon.

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Meemon, K., Sobhon, P. Juvenile-specific cathepsin proteases in Fasciola spp.: their characteristics and vaccine efficacies. Parasitol Res 114, 2807–2813 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-015-4589-6

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  • Fasciola spp.
  • Fasciolosis
  • Juvenile
  • Cathepsin L
  • Cathepsin B
  • Characterization
  • Vaccine