Melbourne: Scientists have cracked the genetic code of a deadly parasite known to infect young children and puppies worldwide.
The parasite, T. canis, is relatively well studied from a clinical perspective, but this is the first in-depth investigation of its molecular biology and will provide a useful resource for future molecular studies for this and other related parasites.
This parasite causes toxocariasis, a disease that mainly affects young children. "This pathogen causes widespread outbreaks, predominantly in underprivileged communities and developing countries, so the more we know about these parasites the better equipped we are to combat their deadly effects," said senior author Robin Gasser, professor at University of Melbourne.
"Although this study focused on T. canis, the findings and the technological approaches used should be readily applicable to a wide range of other ascaridoid nematodes (roundworms) of major animal and human health importance," Gasser added.
The study was published online in the journal Nature Communications.