The identification of lectin-binding structures in adult worms of Echinococcus granulosus was carried out by lectin fluorescence; the distribution of carbohydrates in parasite glycoconjugates was also studied by lectin blotting. The lectins with the most ample recognition pattern were ConA, WGA, and PNA. ConA showed widespread reactivity in tegument and parenchyma components, including the reproductive system, suggesting that mannose is a highly expressed component of the adult glycans. Although reproductive structures appeared to be rich in N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc)–N-acetyl neuraminic acid (NeuAc) and galactose (Gal) as demonstrated by their strong reactivity with WGA and PNA, respectively, some differences were observed in their labeling patterns. This was very clear in the case of the vagina, which only reacted with WGA. Furthermore, WGA and ConA both had reactivity with the excretory canals. RCA, the other Gal binding lectin used, only reacted with the tegument, suggesting that widespread PNA reactivity with the reproductive system is related to the presence of the d-Gal-β-(1,3)-d-GalNAc terminal structure. UEA I failed to bind to any parasite tissues as determined by lectin fluorescence, whereas DBA and SBA showed a very faint staining of the tegument. However, in transferred glycans, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine (GalNAc) and fucose (Fuc) containing glycoproteins were distinctly detected.
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