Dracunculus medinensis and Schistosoma mansoni contain opiate alkaloids
Zhu, W × Baggerman, Geert Secor, W Evan Casares, F Pryor, S C Fricchione, G L Ruiz-Tiben, E Eberhard, M L Bimi, L Stefano, G B #
Annals of tropical medicine and parasitology vol:96 issue:3 pages:309-16
The results of analysis, by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection and by nano-electrospray-ionization, double quadrupole/orthogonal-acceleration, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, indicate that adult Dracunculus medinensis and Schistosoma mansoni both contain the opiate alkaloid morphine and that D. medinesis also contains the active metabolite of morphine, morphine 6-glucuronide. From these and previous observations, it would appear that many helminths are probably using opiate alkaloids as potent immunosuppressive and antinociceptive signal molecules, to down-regulate immunosurveillance responsiveness and pain signalling in their hosts.