The protistan parasite Perkinsus marinus is resistant to selected reactive oxygen species
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Type of Work10 pages
Citation of Original PublicationEric J. Schott, Wolf T. Pecher, Florence Okafor, Gerardo R. Vasta, The protistan parasite is resistant to selected reactive oxygen species, Experimental Parasitology, Volume 105, Issue 3, 2003, Pages 232-240.
The parasite Perkinsus marinus has devastated natural and farmed oyster populations along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America. When viable P. marinus trophozoites are engulfed by oyster hemocytes, the typical accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) normally associated with phagocyte activity is not observed. One hypothesis to explain this is that the parasite rapidly removes ROS. A manifestation of efficient ROS removal should be a high level of resistance to exogenous ROS. We investigated the in vitro susceptibility of P. marinus to ROS as compared to the estuarine bacterium Vibrio splendidus. We find that P. marinus is markedly less susceptible than V. splendidus to superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), but equally sensitive to hypochlorite. Viable P. marinus trophozoites degrade H(2)O(2) in vitro, but lack detectable catalase activity. However, extracts contain an ascorbate dependent peroxidase activity that may contribute to H(2)O(2) removal in vitro and in vivo.