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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)
Asparaginyl endopeptidases, or legumains, are a recently identified family of cysteine-class endopeptidases. A single gene encoding a Schistosoma mansoni asparaginyl endopeptidase (a.k.a. Sm32 or schistosome legumain) has been reported, but by sequence homology it would be expected to yield an inactive product as the active site C197 had been replaced by N.(More)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 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)
BACKGROUND Hemoglobin is a rich source of biologically active peptides, some of which are potent antimicrobials (hemocidins). A few hemocidins have been purified from the midgut contents of ticks. Nonetheless, how antimicrobials are generated in the tick midgut and their role in immunity is still poorly understood. Here we report, for the first time, the(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)
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)
American trypanosomiasis, or Chagas' disease, is the leading cause of heart disease in Latin America. Currently there is an urgent need to develop antitrypanosomal therapy due to the toxicity of existing agents and emerging drug resistance. A novel series of potent thio semicarbazone small-molecule inhibitors of the Trypanosoma cruzi cysteine protease(More)