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)
Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitic disease in tropical and subtropical regions and is associated with a variety of clinical syndromes that may lead to severe morbidity. Over the past 25 years, therapy and control of schistosomiasis has come to rely heavily on one drug, praziquantel (PZQ). This reliance is of concern should widespread treatment failure(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)
Proteases frequently function not only as individual enzymes but also in cascades or networks. A notable evolutionary switch occurred in one such protease network that is involved in protein digestion in the intestine. In vertebrates, this is largely the work of trypsin family serine proteases, whereas in invertebrates, cysteine proteases of the papain(More)
Cysteine protease activity of African trypanosome parasites is a target for new chemotherapy using synthetic protease inhibitors. To support this effort and further characterize the enzyme, we expressed and purified rhodesain, the target protease of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (MVAT4 strain), in reagent quantities from Pichia pastoris. Rhodesain was(More)
Schistosomes are parasitic platyhelminths (flatworms) of birds and mammals. As a parasitic disease of humans, schistosomiasis ranks second only to malaria in global importance. Schistosome larvae (cercariae) must invade and penetrate skin as an initial step to successful infection of the vertebrate host. Proteolytic enzymes secreted from the acetabular(More)
The helminth parasite Fasciola hepatica secretes cysteine proteases to facilitate tissue invasion, migration, and development within the mammalian host. The major proteases cathepsin L1 (FheCL1) and cathepsin L2 (FheCL2) were recombinantly produced and biochemically characterized. By using site-directed mutagenesis, we show that residues at position 67 and(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)
Compared to malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, schistosomiasis remains a truly neglected tropical disease. Schistosomiasis, perhaps more than any other disease, is entrenched in prevailing social-ecological systems, since transmission is governed by human behaviour (e.g. open defecation and patterns of unprotected surface water contacts) and ecological(More)
Papain-like cysteine endopeptidases have been recognized as potential targets for chemotherapy and serodiagnostic reagents in infections with the human parasitic helminth Schistosoma. A novel cathepsin B endopeptidase from adult S. mansoni has been isolated and characterized. The enzyme is termed SmCB2 to distinguish it from the first recorded schistosome(More)