Genome sequence of parasites may help in developing new ways of interventions

Last Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 16:12

Washington: A new study has found vital biological and genetic information from sequence of genomes of the whipworm, an intestinal parasitic worm that infects many people in the developing countries.

The whipworm is one of three types of soil-transmitted parasitic worms that collectively infect nearly two billion people, while infections often result in mild disease they may also lead to serious and long-term damage such as malnutrition, stunted growth and impaired learning ability.

Dr Matthew Berriman, senior author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said that their work starts to unravel the whipworm`s intimate relationship with humans and paves the way for new approaches to prevent or clear whipworm infections.

He further explained that making these genome sequences freely available will provide an enormous boost to the entire research community that is working on interventions to prevent or treat worm-associated disease.

This study not only opens doors for the development of new drugs but may also allow the researchers to identify already existing drugs used for other diseases that might be effective against this parasite and other types of worms.
Professor Richard Grencis, senior author from The University of Manchester said that although whipworms can be detrimental to human health and economic growth in some regions, they are also important in defining human immune system`s `set point` and ensuring we make the right level of immune response during disease.

ANI

First Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 16:12

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