Hymenolepis Genome Published in Nature!
The first tapeworm genomes published in Nature! READ NOW
Four tapeworm genomes sequenced
Tapeworms cause echinococcosis and cysticercosis, two of the most severe parasitic diseases found in humans, and both on the World Health Organization's list of neglected tropical diseases. The publication of four tapeworm genome sequences — human-infective tapeworm species Echinococcus multilocularis, E. granulosus, Taenia solium and the laboratory model Hymenolepis microstoma — and identification of potential new drug targets for treating tapeworm infections is therefore a welcome development. Analysis of the sequences provides insights into the evolution of parasitism and reveals extreme losses of genes and pathways ubiquitous in other animals on one hand and species-specific expansions of genes on the other. More than a thousand E. multilocularis proteins emerge as potential targets, and of these, close to 200 with the highest scores may be targeted with existing pharmaceuticals.
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