Metabolomics and lipidomics studies of parasitic helminths: molecular diversity and identification levels achieved by using different characterisation tools

Wangchuk, Phurpa, Yeshi, Karma, and Loukas, Alex (2023) Metabolomics and lipidomics studies of parasitic helminths: molecular diversity and identification levels achieved by using different characterisation tools. Metabolomics, 19 (63).

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (658kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Introduction: Helminths are parasitic worms that infect millions of people worldwide and secrete a variety of excretory-secretory products (ESPs), including proteins, peptides, and small molecules. Despite this, there is currently no comprehensive review article on cataloging small molecules from helminths, particularly focusing on the different classes of metabolites (polar and lipid molecules) identified from the ESP and somatic tissue extracts of helminths that were studied in isolation from their hosts.

Objective: This review aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of the metabolomics and lipidomics studies of parasitic helminths using all available analytical platforms.

Method: To achieve this objective, we conducted a meta-analysis of the identification and characterization tools, metabolomics approaches, metabolomics standard initiative (MSI) levels, software, and databases commonly applied in helminth metabolomics studies published until November 2021.

Result: This review analyzed 29 studies reporting the metabolomic assessment of ESPs and somatic tissue extracts of 17 helminth species grown under ex vivo/in vitro culture conditions. Of these 29 studies, 19 achieved the highest level of metabolite identification (MSI level-1), while the remaining studies reported MSI level-2 identification. Only 155 small molecule metabolites, including polar and lipids, were identified using MSI level-1 characterization protocols from various helminth species. Despite the significant advances made possible by the ‘omics’ technology, standardized software and helminth-specific metabolomics databases remain significant challenges in this field. Overall, this review highlights the potential for future studies to better understand the diverse range of small molecules that helminths produce and leverage their unique metabolomic features to develop novel treatment options.

Item ID: 79321
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-3890
Related URLs:
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Ideas Grant APP1183323, NHMRC Program Grant APP1132975), NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship APP1117504
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2023 21:54
FoR Codes: 34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3405 Organic chemistry > 340502 Natural products and bioactive compounds @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3205 Medical biochemistry and metabolomics > 320501 Medical biochemistry - amino acids and metabolites @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280103 Expanding knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences @ 50%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280105 Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 58
Last 12 Months: 15
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page