Parasite attacks its own symbionts. Elimination of Wolbachia, mutualistic endobacteria of filarial nematodes of medical and veterinary importance, by induction of authopahgy, parasite's intracellular defense mechanism.
The photo shows the direct connection of lysosomes (L) to Wolbachia-contained vacuole (W) without autophagosome formation during the induction of autophagy by RNAi specific treatment for Target of Rapamysin (TOR). Elimination of Wolbachia sterilizes filarial nematodes inducing apoptosis in developing embryos, decreases parasite's lifespan, and reduces the pathology of the infection (Figure 1). The new mode-of-action was discovered in the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (UK) to turn filarial parasites against its essential symbiont.