MicroRNAs in Parasitic Helminthiases: Current Status and Future Perspectives

Pengfei Cai, Geoffrey N Gobert, Donald P McManus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a variety of roles in diverse biological processes at the post-transcriptional regulatory level. Although numerous miRNAs have been identified in parasitic helminths, we still know little about their biological functions. As molecular signatures that can be stably detectable in serum and plasma, worm-derived miRNAs have shown promise as markers for the early detection of particular helminth infections. In addition, host miRNAs are dysregulated during the development of pathology associated with helminthiases and show potential as therapeutic intervention targets. This review discusses the possible biological roles of helminth miRNAs, the prediction of their specific targets, their application in diagnosis and anti-pathology therapy interventions, and the potential functions of miRNAs in extracellular vesicle cargo, such as exosomes, in helminth-host interplay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number1
Early online date18 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Helminthiasis
  • Helminths
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Helminth

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