Identification of an eosinophil chemotactic factor from anopheline mosquitoes as a chitinase family protein
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- Owhashi, M., Harada, M., Suguri, S. et al. Parasitol Res (2008) 102: 357. doi:10.1007/s00436-007-0769-3
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Anopheline mosquitoes play an essential role in malaria transmission. The mosquito salivates copiously when probing for the location of a blood vessel. We found that the saliva of anopheline mosquitoes has chemotactic activity for naive eosinophils or neutrophils. The major eosinophil chemotactic component in saliva was shown to be one of the chitinase family proteins. A similar chitinase family protein was found also in the midgut of the anopheline mosquito. Production of antibodies to the chitinase family protein was generally observed in the sera of residents of a malaria endemic area. Both Plasmodium falciparum-infected and uninfected individuals had antibodies to chitinases. These results suggest that the chitinase family protein in mosquito saliva contributes to eliciting an inflammatory response of eosinophils in the host skin followed by antibody production in the host.