Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Surface Coat

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_3052-2


General Information

Surface coats are present both in protozoan and in helminthic endoparasites. In general, the plasma membrane of cells is strikingly asymmetric, its outer and inner layers are clearly delineated, and the polypeptides on each surface are distinct. Glycolipids, glycoproteins, and glycosphingolipids are present only on the external surface. The peripheral layer is rich in carbohydrate and is called the glycocalyx, or surface coat. The thickness of this layer varies with the species and with the developmental stage of the organism (Fig. 1, Pellicle, Fig. 3A). Not only is the surface coat composed of glycoproteins and glycolipids, but various glycoproteins and proteoglycans (acid mucopolysaccharides) may also be adsorbed to it (for more details see Apicomplexa/Surface Coat). The surface coat may be a rather delicate coating, a mass of delicate filaments, or a thick mat, and it comprises 10 % of the cell protein. Whatever...


Calcium Carbonate Surface Coat Antigenic Variation Blood Stage Parasitic Stage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany