Conor R. Caffrey

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Schistosoma mansoni is responsible for the neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis that affects 210 million people in 76 countries. Here we present analysis of the 363 megabase nuclear genome of the blood fluke. It encodes at least 11,809 genes, with an unusual intron size distribution, and new families of micro-exon genes that undergo frequent(More)
BACKGROUND Praziquantel (PZQ) is the only widely available drug to treat schistosomiasis. Given the potential for drug resistance, it is prudent to search for novel therapeutics. Identification of anti-schistosomal chemicals has traditionally relied on phenotypic (whole organism) screening with adult worms in vitro and/or animal models of disease-tools that(More)
BACKGROUND Schistosomiasis is a chronic, debilitating parasitic disease infecting more than 200 million people and is second only to malaria in terms of public health importance. Due to the lack of a vaccine, patient therapy is heavily reliant on chemotherapy with praziquantel as the World Health Organization-recommended drug, but concerns over drug(More)
Neglected tropical diseases, especially those caused by helminths, constitute some of the most common infections of the world's poorest people. Development of techniques for automated, high-throughput drug screening against these diseases, especially in whole-organism settings, constitutes one of the great challenges of modern drug discovery. We present a(More)
Schistosomiasis is a prevalent and chronic helmintic disease in tropical regions. Treatment and control relies on chemotherapy with just one drug, praziquantel and this reliance is of concern should clinically relevant drug resistance emerge and spread. Therefore, to identify potential target proteins for new avenues of drug discovery we have taken a(More)
BACKGROUND The possible emergence of resistance to the only available drug for schistosomiasis spurs drug discovery that has been recently incentivized by the availability of improved transcriptome and genome sequence information. Transient RNAi has emerged as a straightforward and important technique to interrogate that information through decreased or(More)
Peptidases are essential for the establishment and survival of the medically important parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. This helminth expresses a number of gut-associated peptidases that degrade host blood proteins, including hemoglobin, as a means of nutrition. Using irreversible affinity probes, we demonstrate that S. mansoni cathepsin B-like endopeptidase(More)
At the state-of-the-art in drug discovery, one of the key challenges is to develop high-throughput screening (HTS) techniques that can measure changes as a continuum of complex phenotypes induced in a target pathogen. Such measurements are crucial in developing therapeutics against diseases like schistosomiasis, trypanosomiasis, and leishmaniasis, which(More)
Hemoglobin digestion is an essential process for blood-feeding parasites. Using chemical tools, we deconvoluted the intracellular hemoglobinolytic cascade in the tick Ixodes ricinus, a vector of Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. In tick gut tissue, a network of peptidases was demonstrated through imaging with specific activity-based probes and(More)
BACKGROUND Blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma are platyhelminth parasites that infect 200 million people worldwide. Digestion of nutrients from the host bloodstream is essential for parasite development and reproduction. A network of proteolytic enzymes (proteases) facilitates hydrolysis of host hemoglobin and serum proteins. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL(More)