This chapter describes the life cycle, general morphology and ultrastructure of the larval and adult stages of Taenia solium, a parasitic flatworm of humans found in underdeveloped countries. Experimental results describing the role of proteins and glycoproteins in the host-parasite relationship, as well as the various strategies the larval stage has developed to evade the host immune responses are analyzed. Characteristics of the tapeworm attachment site in the hamster intestine and the host inflammatory reaction are reviewed. The general morphology and ultrastructure of the experimental tapeworm is described, with emphasis on muscle fiber distribution, the abundance of cytoplasmic glycogen and its association with gap junctions, the development of testis, structure of mature spermatids and vas efferens. Recent descriptions of T. solium actin, myosin and calreticulin components, metabolic steroid pathways, apoptosis and glucose uptake of tapeworms in the hamster model are reviewed.
Keywords: Taenia solium, surface glycoproteins, ultrastructure, tegument, paramyosin, glycogen, myofibrils, gap junction
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