Coming out of the shell: building the molecular infrastructure for research on parasite-harbouring snails

Cantacessi, Cinzia, Prasopdee, Sattrachai, Sotillo, Javier, Mulvenna, Jason, Tesana, Smarn, and Loukas, Alex (2013) Coming out of the shell: building the molecular infrastructure for research on parasite-harbouring snails. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7 (9). e2284. pp. 1-4.

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Abstract

[Extract] In Thailand and Laos alone, approximately 10 million people are infected with the liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini [1]. Chronic infection with this parasite is considered the leading cause of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA, or bile-duct cancer) in large areas of Southeast Asia [2]. In these regions, CCA caused by O. viverrini is typically diagnosed 30–40 years after infection, with death occurring within 3–6 months post diagnosis [3]. O. viverrini is characterised by a three-host life cycle, with prosobranch snails of the genus Bithynia and cyprinid fishes acting as first and second intermediate hosts, respectively, while piscivorous mammals, including dogs, cats, and humans, act as definitive hosts [2]. Over the last two decades, much attention has been paid to studies on the epidemiology, developmental biology, and diagnosis of O. viverrini [4], while recent biotechnological advances are contributing large-scale explorations of the fundamental molecular biology of this liver fluke, with a view toward identifying key molecules essential for its development, reproduction, and survival, as well as dissecting the molecular pathways leading to the development of CCA [5]–[8]. These advances provide a solid foundation for the development of novel strategies to fight this devastating disease. However, long-term control of O. viverrini–induced cancer strictly relies on the development of integrated approaches, targeting the parasite as well as its intermediate hosts.

Item ID: 30013
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Additional Information:

© 2013 Cantacessi et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2013 09:49
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases @ 25%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 70%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 30%
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