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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 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 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)
Lymphatic filariasis is caused by filarial nematode parasites, including Brugia malayi. Adult worms live in the lymphatic system and cause a strong immune reaction that leads to the obstruction of lymph vessels and swelling of the extremities. Chronic disease leads to the painful and disfiguring condition known as elephantiasis. Current drug therapy is(More)
BACKGROUND During invasion of human skin by schistosome blood fluke larvae (cercariae), a multicellular organism breaches the epidermis, basement membrane, and dermal barriers of skin. To better understand the pathobiology of this initial event in schistosome infection, a proteome analysis of human skin was carried out following invasion by cercariae of(More)
Although the vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid (RA) plays a critical role in immune function, RA synthesis during infection is poorly understood. Here, we show that retinal dehydrogenases (Raldh), required for the synthesis of RA, are induced during a retinoid-dependent type-2 immune response elicited by Schistosoma mansoni infection, but not during a(More)
BACKGROUND Cercarial elastase is the major invasive larval protease in Schistosoma mansoni, a parasitic blood fluke, and is essential for host skin invasion. Genome sequence analysis reveals a greatly expanded family of cercarial elastase gene isoforms in Schistosoma mansoni. This expansion appears to be unique to S. mansoni, and it is unknown whether gene(More)
BACKGROUND Skin invasion is the initial step in infection of the human host by schistosome blood flukes. Schistosome larvae have the remarkable ability to overcome the physical and biochemical barriers present in skin in the absence of any mechanical trauma. While a serine peptidase with activity against insoluble elastin appears to be essential for this(More)
BACKGROUND Eggs deposited in the liver of the mammalian host by the blood fluke parasite, Schistosoma mansoni, normally drive a T-helper-2 (Th2)-mediated granulomatous response in immune-competent mice. By contrast, in mice deprived of T-cells and incapable of producing granulomata, egg-secreted proteins (ESP) induce acute hepatic injury and death. Previous(More)
Two major human diseases caused by filariid nematodes are onchocerciasis, or river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis, which can lead to elephantiasis. The drugs ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine (DEC), and albendazole are used in control programs for these diseases, but are mainly effective against the microfilarial stage and have minimal or no effect on(More)