Parasiticidal activity ofHaemaphysalis longicornislongicin P4 peptide againstToxoplasma gondii

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Abstract

The Haemaphysalis longicornis longicin P4 peptide is an active part peptide produced by longicin which displays bactericidal activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and other microorganisms. In the present study, the effect of the longicin P4 peptide on the infectivity of Toxoplasma gondii parasites was examined in vitro. Tachyzoites of T. gondii incubated with longicin P4 had induced aggregation and lost the trypan blue dye exclusion activity and the invasion ability into the mouse embryonal cell line (NIH/3T3). Longicin P4 bound to T. gondii tachyzoites, as demonstrated by fluoresce microscopic analysis. An electron microscopic analysis and a fluorescence propidium iodide exclusion assay of tachyzoites exposed to longicin P4 revealed pore formation in the cellular membrane, membrane disorganization, and hollowing as well as cytoplasmic vacuolization. The number of tachyzoites proliferated in mouse macrophage cell line (J774A.1) was significantly decreased by incubation with longicin P4. These findings suggested that longicin P4 conceivably impaired parasite membranes, leading to the destruction of Toxoplasma parasites in J774A.1 cells. Thus, longicin P4 is an interesting candidate for antitoxoplasmosis drug design that causes severe toxicity to T. gondii and plays an important role in reducing cellular infection. This is the first report showing that longicin P4 causes aggregation and membrane injury of parasites, leading to Toxoplasma tachyzoite destruction.

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