Ascariasis is a global health problem for humans and animals. Adult Ascaris nematodes are long-lived in the host intestine where they interact with host cells as well as members of the microbiota resulting in chronic infections. Nematode interactions with host cells and the microbial environment are prominently mediated by parasite-secreted proteins and peptides possessing immunomodulatory and antimicrobial activities. Previously, we discovered the C-type lectin protein AsCTL-42 in the secreted products of adult Ascaris worms. Here we tested recombinant AsCTL-42 for its ability to interact with bacterial and host cells. We found that AsCTL-42 lacks bactericidal activity but neutralized bacterial cells without killing them. Treatment of bacterial cells with AsCTL-42 reduced invasion of intestinal epithelial cells by Salmonella. Furthermore, AsCTL-42 interacted with host myeloid C-type lectin receptors. Thus, AsCTL-42 is a parasite protein involved in the triad relationship between Ascaris, host cells, and the microbiota.
Keywords: Ascaris; C-type lectin; C-type lectin receptor; Salmonella; glycan array; helminths; intestinal nematode; lectin; microbiota.