Of dogs and hookworms: man's best friend and his parasites as a model for translational biomedical research

Shepherd, Catherine, Wangchuk, Phurpa, and Loukas, Alex (2018) Of dogs and hookworms: man's best friend and his parasites as a model for translational biomedical research. Parasites & Vectors, 11. 59.

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We present evidence that the dog hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum) is underutilised in the study of host-parasite interactions, particularly as a proxy for the human-hookworm relationship. The inability to passage hookworms through all life stages in vitro means that adult stage hookworms have to be harvested from the gut of their definitive hosts for ex vivo research. This makes study of the human-hookworm interface difficult for technical and ethical reasons. The historical association of humans, dogs and hookworms presents a unique triad of positive evolutionary pressure to drive the A. caninum-canine interaction to reflect that of the human-hookworm relationship. Here we discuss A. caninum as a proxy for human hookworm infection and situate this hookworm model within the current research agenda, including the various 'omics' applications and the search for next generation biologics to treat a plethora of human diseases. Historically, the dog hookworm has been well described on a physiological and biochemical level, with an increasing understanding of its role as a human zoonosis. With its similarity to human hookworm, the recent publications of hookworm genomes and other omics databases, as well as the ready availability of these parasites for ex vivo culture, the dog hookworm presents itself as a valuable tool for discovery and translational research.

Item ID: 52527
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1756-3305
Keywords: Ancylostoma caninum, human hookworm, hookworm model, translational model, omics
Additional Information:

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), James Cook University
Projects and Grants: NHMRC program grant APP1037304, NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship APP1132975
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2018 07:46
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320704 Medical parasitology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 30%
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