Improved insights into the transcriptomes of the human hookworm Necator americanus: fundamental and biotechnological implications

Rabelo, Elida M., Hall, Ross S., Loukas, Alex, Cooper, Leanne, Hu, Min, Ranganathan, Shoba, and Gasser, Robin B. (2009) Improved insights into the transcriptomes of the human hookworm Necator americanus: fundamental and biotechnological implications. Biotechnology Advances, 27 (2). pp. 122-132.

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Hookworms of humans are blood-feeding parasitic nematodes of major socio-economic significance in a wide range of countries. They cause a neglected tropical disease (NTD) called "hookworm disease" ( = necatoriasis and/or ancylostomiasis). Necator americanus is the most widely distributed hookworm of humans and is a leading cause of iron deficiency anaemia, which can cause physical and mental retardation and deaths in children as well as adverse maternal–foetal outcomes. Currently, there is a significant focus on the development of new approaches for the prevention and control of hookworms in humans. Technological advances are underpinning the discovery of drug and vaccine targets through insights into the molecular biology and genomics of these parasites and their relationship with the human host. In spite of the widespread socio-economic impacts of human necatoriasis, molecular datasets for N. americanus are scant, limiting progress in molecular research. The present article explores all currently available EST datasets for adult and larval stages of N. americanus using a semi-automated bioinformatic pipeline. In the current repertoire of molecules now available, some have been or are being considered as candidate vaccines against N. americanus. Among others, the most abundant sets of molecules relate to the pathogenesis-related protein (PRP) superfamily, comprising various members, such as the Ancylostoma-secreted or activation-associated proteins (ASPs) and the kunitz-type proteins, both of which are inferred to play key roles in the interplay between N. americanus and the human host. Understanding the molecular biology of these and other novel molecules discovered could have important implications for finding new ways of disrupting the pathways that they are involved in, and should facilitate the identification of new drug and vaccine targets. Also, the bioinformatic prediction of the essentiality of genes and gene products as well as molecular network connectivity of nematode-specific genes, together with sequencing by 454 technology, are likely to assist in the genomic discovery efforts in the very near future, to also underpin fundamental, molecular research of hookworms.

Item ID: 36685
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-1899
Keywords: human hookworm; nematoda; strongylida; transcriptomics; genomics, bioinformatics
Funders: CNPq, Brazil, Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Academy of Science, Australian-American Fulbright Commission
Projects and Grants: ARC DP0665230;
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2014 04:31
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
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