Schistosome parasites are complex trematode blood flukes responsible for the disease schistosomiasis; a global health concern prevalent in many tropical and sub-tropical countries. While established transcriptomic databases are accessed ad hoc to facilitate studies characterising specific genes or gene families, a more comprehensive systematic updating of gene annotation and survey of the literature to aid in annotation and context is rarely addressed. We have reanalysed an online transcriptomic dataset originally published in 2009, where seven life cycle stages of Schistosoma japonicum were examined. Using the online pathway analysis tool Reactome, we have revisited key data from the original study. A key focus of this study was to improve the interpretation of the gene expression profile of the developmental lung-stage schistosomula, since it is one of the principle targets for worm elimination. Highly enriched transcripts, associated with lung schistosomula, were related to a number of important biological pathways including host immune evasion, energy metabolism and parasitic development. Revisiting large transcriptomic databases should be considered in the context of substantial new literature. This approach could aid in the improved understanding of the molecular basis of parasite biology. This may lead to the identification of new targets for diagnosis and therapies for schistosomes, and other helminths.
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Carson, J., Jul 2021
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy