The Strongyloides bioassay toolbox: A unique opportunity to accelerate functional biology for nematode parasites

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Caenorhabditis elegans is a uniquely powerful tool to aid understanding of fundamental nematode biology. While C. elegans boasts an unrivalled array of functional genomics tools and phenotype bioassays the inherent differences between free-living and parasitic nematodes underscores the need to develop these approaches in tractable parasite models. Advances in functional genomics approaches, including RNA interference and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, in the parasitic nematodes Strongyloides ratti and Strongyloides stercoralis provide a unique and timely opportunity to probe basic parasite biology and reveal novel anthelmintic targets in species that are both experimentally and therapeutically relevant pathogens. While Strongyloides functional genomics tools have progressed rapidly, the complementary range of bioassays required to elucidate phenotypic outcomes post-functional genomics remain more limited in scope. To adequately support the exploitation of functional genomic pipelines for studies of gene function in Strongyloides a comprehensive set of species- and parasite-specific quantitative bioassays are required to assess nematode behaviours post-genetic manipulation. Here we review the scope of the current Strongyloides bioassay toolbox, how established Strongyloides bioassays have advanced knowledge of parasite biology, opportunities for Strongyloides bioassay development and, the need for investment in tractable model parasite platforms such as Strongyloides to drive the discovery of novel targets for parasite control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111526
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Early online date20 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Bioassay
  • Functional genomics
  • Nematode
  • Parasite
  • Phenotype
  • Strongyloides


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