Carbohydrate Metabolism and Energy Production

  • Leslie H. Chappell
Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (TLB)


An almost universal feature of endoparasitic organisms is their dependence upon anaerobic carbohydrate metabolism to obtain energy, regardless of the amount of environmental oxygen available. Accordingly, a great many parasites store polysaccharides which can be oxidised (though rarely to completion) to yield ATP. The most common polysaccharide reserve is glycogen, occurring in protozoans and helminths alike. Glycogen is composed exclusively of glucose molecules joined by α-1, 4 and α-1, 6 linkages, the ratio of 1, 4:1, 6 bonds ranging from 12:1 to 15:1.


Carbohydrate Metabolism Volatile Fatty Acid Malic Enzyme Echinococcus Granulosus Ascaris Lumbricoides 
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Further Reading

  1. Atkinson, H. J. (1976) “The respiratory physiology of nematodes”, in The Organization of Nematodes, editor N. A. Croll, Academic Press, 243–272.Google Scholar
  2. Barrett, J. (1976) “Bioenergetics in helminths”, in Biochemistry of Parasites and Host-Parasite Relations, editor H. Van den Bossche, North Holland, 67–80.Google Scholar
  3. Bryant, C. (1970) “Electron transport in parasitic helminths and Protozoa.” Advances in Parasitology, 8, 139–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bryant, C. (1975) “Carbon dioxide utilisation in parasitic helminths.” Advances in Parasitology. 13, 35–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coles, G. C. (1973) “The metabolism of Schistosoma: a review.” International Journal of Biochemistry, 4, 319–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coles, G. C. (1975) “Fluke biochemistry-Fasciola and Schistosoma.” Helminthological Abstracts (A), 44, 147–162.Google Scholar
  7. Gutteridge, W. E. and Coombs, G. H. (1977) Biochemistry of Parasitic Protozoa, Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. Hill, G. C. (1970) “Characterization of the electron transport systems present during the life cycle of African trypanosomes”, in Biochemistry of Parasites and Host-Parasite Relations, editor H. Van den Bossche, North Holland, 31–50.Google Scholar
  9. Hill, G. C. and Anderson, W. A. (1970) “Electron transport systems and mitochondrial DNA in Trypanosomatidae: a review.” Experimental Parasitology, 28, 356–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lee and Atkinson (1976) Physiology of Nematodes,2nd edition, Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  11. Read, C. P. and Simmons, J. E. (1963) “Biochemistry and physiology of tapeworms.” Physiological Reviews, 43, 263–305.Google Scholar
  12. Saz, H. J. (1969) “Carbohydrate and energy metabolism of nematodes and Acanthocephala.” Chemical Zoology, 3, 329–360.Google Scholar
  13. Smith, M. H. (1969) “Do intestinal parasite require oxygen?” Nature, 223, 1129–1132. Von Brand, T. (1973) Biochemistry of Parasites, 2nd edition, Academic Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© L. H. Chappell 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie H. Chappell
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AberdeenUK

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