Effects of host-derived chemokines on the motility and viability of Trypanosoma brucei

Omar Alfituri, Olumide Ajibola, James M. Brewer, Paul Garside, Robert A Benson, Tamlyn Peel, Liam Morrison, Neil Mabbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei spp.) are extracellular, hemoflagellate, protozoan parasites. Mammalian infection begins when the tsetse fly vector injects trypanosomes into the skin during blood feeding. The trypanosomes then reach the draining lymph nodes before
disseminating systemically. Intravital imaging of the skin post-tsetse fly bite revealed that trypanosomes were observed both extravascularly and intravascularly in the lymphatic vessels.
Whether host-derived cues play a role in the attraction of the trypanosomes towards the lymphatic vessels to aid their dissemination from the site of infection is not known. Since chemokines can mediate the attraction of leukocytes towards the lymphatics, in vitro chemotaxis assays were used to determine whether chemokines might also act as chemoattractants for trypanosomes. Although microarray data suggested that the chemokines
CCL8, CCL19, CCL21, CCL27 and CXCL12 were highly expressed in mouse skin, they did not stimulate the chemotaxis of T. brucei. Certain chemokines also possess potent antimicrobial properties. However, none of the chemokines tested exerted any parasiticidal effects on T. brucei. Thus, our data suggest that host-derived chemokines do not act as chemoattractants for T. brucei. Identification of the mechanisms used by trypanosomes to establish host infection will aid the development of novel approaches to block disease
transmission.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12609
JournalParasite Immunology
Volume41
Issue number2
Early online date7 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Trypanosoma brucei
  • skin
  • lymphatics
  • intravital imaging
  • chemokines
  • chemotaxis
  • cytotoxicity

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