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Although common among bacteria, lateral gene transfer-the movement of genes between distantly related organisms-is thought to occur only rarely between bacteria and multicellular eukaryotes. However, the presence of endosymbionts, such as Wolbachia pipientis, within some eukaryotic germlines may facilitate bacterial gene transfers to eukaryotic host(More)
Complete genome DNA sequence and analysis is presented for Wolbachia, the obligate alpha-proteobacterial endosymbiont required for fertility and survival of the human filarial parasitic nematode Brugia malayi. Although, quantitatively, the genome is even more degraded than those of closely related Rickettsia species, Wolbachia has retained more intact(More)
Parasitic nematodes that cause elephantiasis and river blindness threaten hundreds of millions of people in the developing world. We have sequenced the approximately 90 megabase (Mb) genome of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi and predict approximately 11,500 protein coding genes in 71 Mb of robustly assembled sequence. Comparative analysis with the(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) is an efficient reverse genetics technique for investigating gene function in eukaryotes. The method has been widely used in model organisms, such as the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, where it has been deployed in genome-wide high throughput screens to identify genes involved in many cellular and developmental(More)
BACKGROUND Filarial parasites (e.g., Brugia malayi, Onchocerca volvulus, and Wuchereria bancrofti) are causative agents of lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, which are among the most disabling of neglected tropical diseases. There is an urgent need to develop macro-filaricidal drugs, as current anti-filarial chemotherapy (e.g., diethylcarbamazine(More)
Human disease caused by parasitic filarial nematodes is a major cause of global morbidity. The parasites are transmitted by arthropod intermediate hosts and are responsible for lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) or on-chocerciasis (river blindness). Within these filarial parasites are intracellular alpha-proteobacteria, Wolbachia, that were first observed(More)
Wolbachia endosymbionts are widespread in arthropods and are generally considered reproductive parasites, inducing various phenotypes including cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, feminization and male killing, which serve to promote their spread through populations. In contrast, Wolbachia infecting filarial nematodes that cause human diseases,(More)
BACKGROUND Wolbachia are among the most abundant symbiotic microbes on earth; they are present in about 66% of all insect species, some spiders, mites and crustaceans, and most filarial nematode species. Infected filarial nematodes, including many pathogens of medical and veterinary importance, depend on Wolbachia for proper development and survival. The(More)
Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria have been implicated in the inflammatory pathogenesis of filariasis. Inflammation induced by Brugia malayi female worm extract (BMFE) is dependent on Toll-like receptors 2 and 6 (TLR2/6) with only a partial requirement for TLR1. Removal of Wolbachia, lipids, or proteins eliminates all inflammatory activity. Wolbachia(More)
BACKGROUND Lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis are debilitating diseases caused by filarial nematodes. Disease pathogenesis is induced by inflammatory responses following the death of the parasite. Wolbachia endosymbionts of filariae are potent inducers of innate and adaptive inflammation and bacterial lipoproteins have been identified as the ligands(More)