Neobenedenia girellae, a monogenean skin parasite, shows low host specificity. N. girellae is an important pathogen in marine cultured fish such as yellowtail and amberjack. An effective control method is required but none has yet been established. To clarify the mechanisms of host specificity, we purified and identified the attachment-inducing substances of oncomiracidia from tiger puffer fish. The attachment-inducing substances were mainly included in skin mucous extract. Skin mucous extract lost its ability to induce attachment after boiling and/or exposure to the reducing agent dithiothreitol, suggesting that attachment-inducing substances are of a proteinaceous nature. Since lectins such as Con A, WGA, PHA-L, and PSA inhibited the induction of attachment, attachment-inducing proteins were suspected to be glycoproteins. Glycoproteins specifically interacting with Con A were collected and purified by anion exchange chromatography, resulting in two active peaks (peaks 3-A and 6). The active component in peak 3-A was identified as Wap 65-2 by N-terminal amino acid sequencing, while the glycoprotein in peak 6 could not be identified. These results suggested that oncomiracidia recognised Wap 65-2 and another glycoprotein of their host.
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