After digestion of infected meat the free L1 of Trichinella spp. penetrate the intestinal mucosa where they moult to the mature adult stage. We have used proteomics to identify changes in protein secretion during in vitro culture of free T. spiralis muscle larvae under different environmental conditions, and to correlate these changes with their infectivity in mice. Muscle larvae were cultured in different media (RPMI-1640, C-199 and HBSS) under conditions of anaerobiosis, microaerobiosis and in 5% CO(2) at 37 degrees C. Following incubation the larval excretory/secretory proteins were analysed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and the larvae were used to orally infect naïve CD1 mice. For all culture media tested, infectivity of the L1 was preserved following incubation in anaerobic conditions. In contrast, the infectivity of worms cultured in nutrient-rich media was almost completely abolished in both microaerobiosis and in the presence of 5% CO(2). Some infectivity was retained in poor or reduced culture media. Comparative analysis of larval infectivity and protein secretion showed that loss of infectivity correlated with the appearance of non-tyvelosylated proteins that in turn may be related to the onset of moulting.
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