Profiling Schistosoma mansoni development using serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE).
ABSTRACT: Despite the widespread use of chemotherapy and other control strategies over the past 50years, transmission rates for schistosomiasis have changed little. Regardless of the approach used, future control efforts will require a more complete understanding of fundamental parasite biology. Schistosomes undergo complex development involving an alteration of parasite generations within a mammalian and freshwater molluscan host in the completion of its lifecycle. Little is known about factors controlling schistosome development, but understanding these processes may facilitate the discovery of new control methods. Therefore, our goal in this study is to determine global developmentally regulated and stage-specific gene expression in Schistosoma mansoni using serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). We present a preliminary analysis of genes expressed during development and sexual differentiation in the mammalian host and during early larval development in the snail host. A number of novel, differentially expressed genes have been identified, both within and between the different developmental stages found in the mammalian and snail hosts.
Project description:Despite the low level expression of some long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), the differential expression of specific lncRNAs plays important roles during the development of many organisms. Schistosomes, parasitic flatworms that are responsible for schistosomiasis, infects over 200 million people resulting in chronic disease and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Schistosomes have a complex life cycle that transitions between molluscan and mammalian hosts. In a molluscan snail host, the sporocyst stage develops over 5 weeks undergoing asexual reproduction to give rise to free-swimming and infectious cercariae that penetrate human skin and eventually mature into egg producing worms in mammals. The tight integration of the sporocyst to the snail host hepatopancreas hinders the -omics study in the molluscan stage, so the sporocyst transcriptome has only been examined for lncRNAs in immature in vitro samples. Here we analyzed the in vivo mature sporocyst transcriptome to identify 4,930 total lncRNAs between the molluscan and mammalian stages of the parasite. We further demonstrate that the lncRNAs are differentially expressed in a development-dependent manner. In addition, we constructed a co-expression correlation network between lncRNAs and protein-coding (PC) genes that was used to identify clusters of lncRNA transcripts with potential functional relevance. We also describe lncRNA-lncRNA and lncRNA-kinome correlations that identify lncRNAs with prospective roles in gene regulation. Finally, our results show clear differential expression patterns of lncRNAs in host-dependent development stages of S. mansoni and ascribe potential functional roles in development based on predicted intracellular interaction.
Project description:Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease affecting over 200 million people. Schistosomes develop multiple body plans while navigating their complex life cycle, which involves two different hosts: a mammalian definitive host and a molluscan intermediate host. Their survival and propagation depend upon proliferation and differentiation of stem cells necessary for parasite homeostasis and reproduction. Infective larvae released from snails carry a handful of stem cells that serve as the likely source of new tissues as the parasite adapts to life inside the mammalian host; however, the role of these stem cells during this critical life cycle stage remains unclear. Here, we characterize stem cell fates during early intramammalian development. Surprisingly, we find that the esophageal gland, an accessory organ of the digestive tract, develops before the rest of the digestive system is formed and blood feeding is initiated, suggesting a role in processes beyond nutrient uptake. To explore such a role, we examine schistosomes that lack the esophageal gland due to knockdown of a forkhead-box transcription factor, Sm-foxA, which blocks development and maintenance of the esophageal gland, without affecting the development of other somatic tissues. Intriguingly, schistosomes lacking the esophageal gland die after transplantation into naive mice, but survive in immunodeficient mice lacking B cells. We show that parasites lacking the esophageal gland are unable to lyse ingested immune cells within the esophagus before passing them into the gut. These results unveil an immune-evasion mechanism mediated by the esophageal gland, which is essential for schistosome survival and pathogenesis.
Project description:Schistosomiasis is one of the most socioeconomically harmful neglected tropical diseases in the world. It occurs following infection from parasites of the Schistosoma genus, such as Schistosoma mansoni, which must transition within a molluscan and mammalian host to survive. Previous chemical analyses of schistosome-molluscan interactions indicate that schistosomes orientate towards potential hosts partially through chemosensation, displaying a preference for naïve (uninfected) hosts. Recent advances in proteomic techniques enable sophisticated comparative analyses between infected and naïve snail host proteins. This study aimed to compare the snail-conditioned water (SCW) released by F1 resistant, infected and naïve Biomphalaria glabrata to identify potential attractants and deterrents.
Project description:Biomphalaria glabrata is the major intermediate snail host for Schistosoma mansoni, one of the important schistosomes infecting man. Much remains to be discovered concerning specific molecules mediating the defence events in these intermediate hosts, triggered by invading schistosomes. An expressed sequence tag (EST) gene discovery strategy known as ORESTES has been employed to identify transcripts that might be involved in snail-schistosome interactions in order to examine gene expression patterns in infected B. glabrata. Over 3930 ESTs were sequenced from cDNA libraries made from both schistosome-exposed and unexposed snails using different tissue types, producing a database of 1843 non-redundant clones. The non-redundant set has been assessed for gene ontology and KEGG pathway assignments. This approach has revealed a number of signalling, antioxidant and immune-related gene homologues that, based on current understanding of molluscan and other comparative systems, might play an important role in the molluscan defence response towards infection.
Project description:The outcome of infection in the host snail Biomphalaria glabrata with the digenean parasite Schistosoma mansoni is determined by the initial molecular interplay occurring between them. The mechanisms by which schistosomes evade snail immune recognition to ensure survival are not fully understood, but one possibility is that the snail internal defence system is manipulated by the schistosome enabling the parasite to establish infection. This study provides novel insights into the nature of schistosome resistance and susceptibility in B. glabrata at the transcriptomic level by simultaneously comparing gene expression in haemocytes from parasite-exposed and control groups of both schistosome-resistant and schistosome-susceptible strains, 2 h post exposure to S. mansoni miracidia, using an novel 5K cDNA microarray. Differences in gene expression, including those for immune/stress response, signal transduction and matrix/adhesion genes were identified between the two snail strains and tests for asymmetric distributions of gene function also identified immune-related gene expression in resistant snails, but not in susceptible. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that genes involved in mitochondrial electron transport, ubiquinone biosynthesis and electron carrier activity were consistently up-regulated in resistant snails but down-regulated in susceptible. This supports the hypothesis that schistosome-resistant snails recognize schistosomes and mount an appropriate defence response, while in schistosome-susceptible snails the parasite suppresses this defence response, early in infection.
Project description:Selective pressures between hosts and their parasites can result in reciprocal evolution or adaptation of specific life history traits. Local adaptation of resident hosts and parasites should lead to increase parasite infectivity/virulence (higher compatibility) when infecting hosts from the same location (in sympatry) than from a foreign location (in allopatry). Analysis of geographic variations in compatibility phenotypes is the most common proxy used to infer local adaptation. However, in some cases, allopatric host-parasite systems demonstrate similar or greater compatibility than in sympatry. In such cases, the potential for local adaptation remains unclear. Here, we study the interaction between Schistosoma and its vector snail Biomphalaria in which such discrepancy in local versus foreign compatibility phenotype has been reported. Herein, we aim at bridging this gap of knowledge by comparing life history traits (immune cellular response, host mortality, and parasite growth) and molecular responses in highly compatible sympatric and allopatric Schistosoma/Biomphalaria interactions originating from different geographic localities (Brazil, Venezuela and Burundi). We found that despite displaying similar prevalence phenotypes, sympatric schistosomes triggered a rapid immune suppression (dual-RNAseq analyses) in the snails within 24h post infection, whereas infection by allopatric schistosomes (regardless of the species) was associated with immune cell proliferation and triggered a non-specific generalized immune response after 96h. We observed that, sympatric schistosomes grow more rapidly. Finally, we identify miRNAs differentially expressed by Schistosoma mansoni that target host immune genes and could be responsible for hijacking the host immune response during the sympatric interaction. We show that despite having similar prevalence phenotypes, sympatric and allopatric snail-Schistosoma interactions displayed strong differences in their immunobiological molecular dialogue. Understanding the mechanisms allowing parasites to adapt rapidly and efficiently to new hosts is critical to control disease emergence and risks of Schistosomiasis outbreaks.
Project description:Schistosomes are parasitic blood flukes that survive for many years within the mammalian host vasculature. How the parasites establish a chronic infection in the hostile bloodstream environment, whilst evading the host immune response is poorly understood. The parasite develops morphologically and grows as it migrates to its preferred vascular niche, avoiding or repairing damage from the host immune system. In this study, we investigated temporal changes in gene expression during the intra-mammalian development of Schistosoma mansoni. RNA-seq data were analysed from parasites developing in the lung through to egg-laying mature adult worms, providing a comprehensive picture of in vivo intra-mammalian development. Remarkably, genes involved in signalling pathways, developmental control, and adaptation to oxidative stress were up-regulated in the lung stage. The data also suggested a potential role in immune evasion for a previously uncharacterised gene. This study not only provides a large and comprehensive data resource for the research community, but also reveals new directions for further characterising host-parasite interactions that could ultimately lead to new control strategies for this neglected tropical disease pathogen.
Project description:Schistosomiasis is a debilitating parasitic disease infecting hundreds of millions of people. Schistosomes use aquatic snails as intermediate hosts. A promising avenue for disease control involves leveraging innate host mechanisms to reduce snail vectorial capacity. In a genome-wide association study of Biomphalaria glabrata snails, we identify genomic region PTC2 which exhibits the largest known correlation with susceptibility to parasite infection (>15 fold effect). Using new genome assemblies with substantially higher contiguity than the Biomphalaria reference genome, we show that PTC2 haplotypes are exceptionally divergent in structure and sequence. This variation includes multi-kilobase indels containing entire genes, and orthologs for which most amino acid residues are polymorphic. RNA-Seq annotation reveals that most of these genes encode single-pass transmembrane proteins, as seen in another resistance region in the same species. Such groups of hyperdiverse snail proteins may mediate host-parasite interaction at the cell surface, offering promising targets for blocking the transmission of schistosomiasis.
Project description:No effective method has yet been developed to prevent the threat posed by the emerging disease-cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch), caused by infective cercariae of bird schistosomes (Digenea: Schistosomatidae). In our previous studies, the New Zealand mud snail-Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Gray, 1853; Gastropoda, Tateidae)-was used as a barrier between the miracidia of Trichobilharzia regenti and the target snails Radix balthica. Since the presence of non-indigenous snails reduced the parasite prevalence under laboratory conditions, we posed three new research questions: (1) Do bird schistosomes show totally perfect efficacy for chemotactic swimming behavior? (2) Do the larvae respond to substances emitted by incompatible snail species? (3) Do the excretory-secretory products of incompatible snail species interfere with the search for a compatible snail host? The experiments were carried out in choice-chambers for the miracidia of T. regenti and T. szidati. The arms of the chambers, depending on the variant, were filled with water conditioned by P. antipodarum, water conditioned by lymnaeid hosts, and dechlorinated tap water. Miracidia of both bird schistosome species chose more frequently the water conditioned by snails-including the water conditioned by the incompatible lymnaeid host and the alien species, P. antipodarum. However, species-specific differences were noticed in the behavior of miracidia. T. regenti remained more often inside the base arm rather than in the arm filled with water conditioned by P. antipodarum or the control arm. T. szidati, however, usually left the base arm and moved to the arm filled with water conditioned by P. antipodarum. In conclusion, the non-host snail excretory-secretory products may interfere with the snail host-finding behavior of bird schistosome miracidia and therefore they may reduce the risk of swimmer's itch.
Project description:Despite extensive control efforts, schistosomiasis continues to be a major public health problem in developing nations in the tropics and sub-tropics. The miracidium, along with the cercaria, both of which are water-borne and free-living, are the only two stages in the life-cycle of Schistosoma mansoni which are involved in host invasion. Miracidia penetrate intermediate host snails and develop into sporocysts, which lead to cercariae that can infect humans. Infection of the snail host by the miracidium represents an ideal point at which to interrupt the parasite's life-cycle. This research focuses on an analysis of the miracidium proteome, including those proteins that are secreted. We have identified a repertoire of proteins in the S. mansoni miracidium at 2 hours post-hatch, including proteases, venom allergen-like proteins, receptors and HSP70, which might play roles in snail-parasite interplay. Proteins involved in energy production and conservation were prevalent, as were proteins predicted to be associated with defence. This study also provides a strong foundation for further understanding the roles that neurohormones play in host-seeking by schistosomes, with the potential for development of novel anthelmintics that interfere with its various life-cycle stages.