Ascaris suum, the causative agent of porcine ascariasis, is responsible for marked economic losses in pig farms worldwide. Despite recent advances in research, including the characterization of the genome of A. suum, knowledge about the parasite/host relationship in porcine ascariasis at the molecular level is scarce and chemotherapy is the only effective option for parasite control. The aim of this study was to identify immunogenic proteins of A. suum somatic antigens associated with the pathogenicity/survival mechanisms of the parasite, by using two-dimensional (2-D) electrophoresis, 2-D Western blot and mass spectrometry (MS). A total of 24 parasite proteins recognized by serum samples from pigs naturally infected with A. suum were identified. Most of them (23/24) were identified as being involved in parasite survival mechanisms, including functions related to energy generation (12 proteins) and redox processes (5 proteins). These results may aid the search for effective chemo-therapeutic targets in porcine ascariasis. Further studies are needed, however, to illustrate the effect of the host immune response on the survival mechanisms of A. suum.
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