Identification of small molecules of the infective stage of human hookworm using LCMS-based metabolomics and lipidomics protocols

Wangchuk, Phurpa, Anderson, Dovile, Yeshi, Karma, and Loukas, Alex (2021) Identification of small molecules of the infective stage of human hookworm using LCMS-based metabolomics and lipidomics protocols. ACS Infectious Diseases, 7. pp. 3264-3276.

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Hookworm infections affect millions of people worldwide and are responsible for impaired mental and physical growth in children, and anemias. There is no vaccine, and increasing anthelmintic drug resistance in nematodes of domestic animals, and reduced drug cure rates in nematode infections of humans is alarming. Despite this looming health problem, there is a significant knowledge gap in terms of nonproteinaceous “excretory/secretory products” (ESPs) and how they orchestrate a parasitic existence. In the current study, we have conducted the first metabolomic and lipidomic analysis of the infective third-stage filariform larvae (L3) of the predominant human hookworm Necator americanus using liquid chromatography−mass spectrometry. Altogether, we have identified a total of 645 small molecules that were mainly produced through amino acid and glycerophospholipid metabolism. Putatively, 495 metabolites were unique to the somatic tissue extract, and 34 metabolites were present only in the ESP component. More than 21 novel mass features with nitrogen and sulfur functional groups were detected in the ESP component for the first time from helminths. While this study could not establish the biological functions of the metabolites identified, literature searches revealed that these metabolites possess various biological properties, including anti-inflammatory activities. These metabolites are likely used by the parasite upon exposure to a host to facilitate skin penetration, passage through different tissues, and immune regulation in the small bowel. Overall, the results presented herein offer significant insight into the metabolome of N. americanus L3 and have the potential to instigate future work to establish biomarkers of infection. This area urgently needs attention, given the lack of sensitive point-of-care diagnostic tools.

Item ID: 71161
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2373-8227
Keywords: Necator americanus, metabolome, hookworm, lipidome, soil-transmitted helminths
Copyright Information: © 2021 American Chemical Society
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC APP1183323, NHMRC APP1132975, NHMRC APP1117504
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2021 22:40
FoR Codes: 34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3405 Organic chemistry > 340502 Natural products and bioactive compounds @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280103 Expanding knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200101 Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions @ 50%
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