Physiology and immunity of the invasive giant African snail, Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica, intermediate host of Angiostrongylus cantonensis

Type Article
Date 2020-04
Language English
Author(s) Lima Mariana G.1, 3, de C. Augusto Ronaldo2, Pinheiro Da Silva Jairo3, Thiengo Silvana C.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratório de Referência Nacional para Esquistossomose - Malacologia, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz/FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 : UMR 5244 Univ Perpignan via Domitia-CNRS-IFREMER-Univ Montpellier, Interactions Hôtes-Pathògenes-Environnements (IHPE), Université de Perpignan via Domitia, France
3 : Área de Biofísica, Departamento de Ciências Fisiológicas, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal, Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil
Source Developmental And Comparative Immunology (0145-305X) (Elsevier BV), 2020-04 , Vol. 105 , P. 103579 (10p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.dci.2019.103579
WOS© Times Cited 4
Keyword(s) Achatina fulica, Immunology, Physiology, Nematodes, Angiostrongylus cantonensis

As one of the most successful invasive land snail species, Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822 has achieved wide global distribution, particularly in (sub)tropical regions, with further dispersal likely due to climate change. This species of giant African snails (up to 17 cm shell length) is a pest that has extensive negative impact on agriculture and can serve as vector for several parasites, including Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a nematode parasite that causes (human) eosinophilic meningitis, an emergent disease. Investigation showed that A. cantonensis infection negatively impacts the metabolism of A. fulica by depleting polysaccharide stores of the intermediate host, compromising the energy balance of the snail. A review of the literature indicates that A. fulica possesses potent innate type immune defenses to counter infection, including phagocytic hemocytes capable of deploying reactive oxygen species and lectins for non-self recognition, a serine protease-dependent coagulation response (not observed in other taxa of gastropods), as well as antimicrobial proteins including achacin, an antimicrobial protein. A recent chromosome level genome assembly will facilitate progressively detailed characterization of these immune features of A. fulica. We strongly encourage further immunological studies of A. fulica, ranging from organismal level to molecular biology to gain better understanding of the A. fulica internal defense response to nematode pathogens like A. cantonensis and the contribution of immune function to the invasiveness of (snail) species. Characterization of immunity of A. fulica, representing the understudied Stylommatophora (panpulmonate landsnails) will also broaden the comparative immunology of Gastropoda.

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Lima Mariana G., de C. Augusto Ronaldo, Pinheiro Da Silva Jairo, Thiengo Silvana C. (2020). Physiology and immunity of the invasive giant African snail, Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica, intermediate host of Angiostrongylus cantonensis. Developmental And Comparative Immunology, 105, 103579 (10p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :