Oliveira-Menezes, A., Lins, R., Norões, J., Dreyer, G., Lafredi, R.M. .


Micron, 41(5):526-531, 2010.


Bancroftian filariasis constitutes the principal mosquito-borne nematode infection of humans and the surface of adult of Wuchereria bancrofti seems to be especially important in the intricate interplay between host and parasite. The study of the parasite's surface structure might help to understand the localization and function of various organelles. W. bancrofti adult worms were recovered from untreated patients during hydrocele repair surgery and studied by transmission electron microscopy. The body wall of adult parasite is composed of cuticle, hypodermis and muscular layer. Cuticle is the external layer and shows transverse cuticular striation. It is composed by an epicuticle, cortical layers, median layer, fibrous layers and basal layer. The epicuticle is the most external cuticular layer and appears as a single laminar electron-dense layer. The cortical external region is more electron-dense and granular in appearance than the inner cortical layer. Electron-dense structures, called bosses are randomly distributed filling the cuticular striation. The median layer is formed by an electron-dense and continuous thick line. The fibrous layer is subdivided in inner and external layers connected by projections. The basal layer includes a large quantity of membranous projections directed toward the hypodermis. The hypodermis is a syncytium where some cellular organelles are observed. The somatic musculature is meromyarian. The muscle fibers consist of contractile and non-contractile regions and the contractile region is composed of myofilaments separated by dense body. This is the first study of W. bancrofti adult worms obtained from untreated patients and studied by transmission electron microscopy.