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Comparative genomics of the major parasitic worms

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  • International Helminth Genomes Consortium

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    Rights statement: 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 license, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license 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 license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. © The Author(s) 2018

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalNature Genetics
Volume51
Issue number1
Early online date5 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Abstract

Parasitic nematodes (roundworms) and platyhelminths (flatworms) cause debilitating chronic infections of humans and animals, decimate crop production and are a major impediment to socioeconomic development. Here we report a broad comparative study of 81 genomes of parasitic and non-parasitic worms. We have identified gene family births and hundreds of expanded gene families at key nodes in the phylogeny that are relevant to parasitism. Examples include gene families that modulate host immune responses, enable parasite migration though host tissues or allow the parasite to feed. We reveal extensive lineage-specific differences in core metabolism and protein families historically targeted for drug development. From an in silico screen, we have identified and prioritized new potential drug targets and compounds for testing. This comparative genomics resource provides a much-needed boost for the research community to understand and combat parasitic worms.

    Research areas

  • Drug discovery, Genome informatics, Genomics, Parasitic infection, Sequence annotation

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