Taenia solium has a complex life cycle. Its cysticercus can lodge in the brain, causing neurocysticercosis (NCC), and the adult tapeworm's survival in the intestine results in taeniasis. In this study, the in situ detection of previously described glycoprotein antigens used for serological diagnosis of NCC and the detection of other glycoconjugates was explored in cysticerci and the surrounding porcine tissue to understand their potential role in pathogenesis. Immunohistochemistry with an antiserum specific for glycoprotein antigens rich in N-linked carbohydrates and in situ histochemistry with a battery of lectins that have affinity to a variety of glycoconjugates were performed. The glycoconjugates rich in N-linked carbohydrates were detected in the vesicular fluid and tegument of the vesicular membrane and scolex, where the parasite has direct contact with the host tissues during cysticercosis and taeniasis, respectively. Additionally, as the inflammatory response progressed, the parasite's antigenic glycoproteins were also detected in the cytoplasm of inflammatory cells in the surrounding granuloma. In contrast, the spiral canal tegument, which will be exposed to intestinal enzymes in taeniasis, had N-acetyl-galactosamine–rich mucins. Thus, the differential saccharidic composition in T. solium metacestode structures may be important for the survival of the parasite in different host sites.
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