Fasciola spp. is responsible for huge economic losses and animal welfare issues within the agricultural sector worldwide. Protein profiling studies of the two economically important species of Fasciola, that is, Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica are important for identification of these species, their immunodiagnosis and also for vaccine designing. Protein profiling is expected to discover a number of target proteins for the purpose of drug designing and vaccine development by determining the function of thousands of unidentified proteins still likely to be found in the genome of F. hepatica and F. gigantica. Electrophoretic protein profiling is expected to multiply the number of known drug targets 100-fold. Different immunodiagnostic tests such as enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA), immunofluorescence and agglutination tests have been used in the early immune diagnosis of fasciolosis, but they have some disadvantages, such as cross reactions with other trematodes, leading to false positive results. In recent years, SDS-PAGE and Western blot procedures have created a new era in immunodiagnosis, and greatly reduced cross reactions. Over the last two decades, various studies to identify and characterize proteins of immunological significance have been carried out, especially the candidates for immunodiagnosis or vaccination in fasciolosis. Recent research indicates that a future prospect for the control of fasciolosis by immunological intervention appears brighter than previously thought. This paper reviews the principles of proteomics, as well as its key instruments and research applications in helminthology, including host parasite interactions, vaccine development and diagnosis of liver fluke diseases and encourage more young researchers to initiate work on the molecular aspects of these economically cosmopolitan parasites.
Key words: Fasciola hepatica, Fasciola gigantica, vaccines, ELISA, SDS-PAGE, Western blot.
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