Nematode surface coats: actively evading immunity

Parasitol Today. 1992 Jul;8(7):243-7. doi: 10.1016/0169-4758(92)90126-m.


The classical view of nematode parasites depicts their surface as the epicuticle, the outermost layer of a thick extracellular cuticle. However, many stages and species of nematode have been found to bear an electron-dense cuter envelope distinct from and distal to the epicuticle itself. In this review, Mark Blaxter and colleagues summarize some wide-ranging studies in both free-living and parasitic nematodes, and suggest that, in many cases, it is the surface coat rather than the cuticle that displays dynamic properties thought to be involved in immune evasion by parasites.