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Alterations of the erythrocyte membrane by in vitro action of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae

  • P. Ponce de León (a1), M. Bellini (a1), H. Castellini (a2) and B. Riquelme (a1) (a3)


The complex life cycle of Trichinella spiralis includes the migration of newborn larvae through the bloodstream to their encystment in muscle. The parasite establishes an intimate contact with the erythrocytes of the host both during the migration of the newborn larvae and when encysting, as this parasite causes intense vascularization in the muscle cell. The goal of this work was to study the effects of various concentrations of T. spiralis muscle larvae (ML) on erythrocyte membranes. The treatment was performed by incubating human erythrocytes with equal volume of different concentrations of ML for 30 minutes, with controlled agitation (37°C). The control erythrocytes (with no contact with the larvae) were incubated in the same way with an equal volume of physiological solution. To evaluate the alterations to the erythrocytes by the action of the larvae and in the respective controls, an Erythrocyte Rheometer and a Digital Image Analysis technique were used. The results indicated that when the larval concentration was higher, the aggregation and erythrocyte membrane alterations were also higher. Also, the erythrocyte deformability index and the erythrocyte elasticity increased. The values of isolated cell coefficient varied from 0.51 in the treatment with 100 larvae/ml to 0.91 in the incubation with 1000 larvae/ml. This experiment shows that T. spiralis muscle larvae affect significantly the red blood cell aggregation and the erythrocyte viscoelastic properties.


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Author for correspondence: B. Riquelme, E-mail:,


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Alterations of the erythrocyte membrane by in vitro action of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae

  • P. Ponce de León (a1), M. Bellini (a1), H. Castellini (a2) and B. Riquelme (a1) (a3)


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