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Gastrointestinal mucus, a medium for survival and for elimination of parasitic nematodes and protozoa

  • H. R. P. Miller (a1)

Extract

Mucus is a sticky visco-elastic material which coats all mucosal surfaces. Florey, in 1955, noted the following three functions for gastrointestinal mucus: protection of the underlying mucosa from chemical and physical injury, lubrication of the mucosal surface to facilitate passage of luminal contents, and removal of parasites by binding and entrapment. In the 31 years since Florey's review, detailed analyses of the composition of mucus and of the biochemistry of mucin glycoproteins, as well as measurements of the physical properties of mucus from different organs and sites have yielded information at the molecular level which provide additional support for his views on its function (Allen, 1981; Forstner, Wesley & Forstner, 1982).

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