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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2008 Dec;162(2):134-41. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2008.08.004. Epub 2008 Aug 19.

Microarray based analysis of temperature and oxidative stress induced messenger RNA in Schistosoma mansoni.

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  • 1Department of Biology, 216 Castetter Hall, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.


The body's defense against schistosome infection can take many forms. For example, upon developing acute schistosomiasis, patients often have fever coinciding with larval maturation, migration and early oviposition. As the infection becomes established, the parasite comes under oxidative stress generated by the host immune system. The most common treatment for schistosomiasis is the anti-helminthic drug praziquantel. Its effectiveness, however, is limited due to its inability to kill schistosomes 2-4 weeks post-infection. Clearly there is a need for new anti-schistosomal drugs. We hypothesize that gene products expressed as part of a protective response against heat and/or oxidative stress are potential therapeutic targets for future drug development. Using a 12,166 element oligonucleotide microarray to characterize Schistosoma mansoni genes induced by heat and oxidative stress we found that 1878 S. mansoni elements were significantly induced by heat stress. These included previously reported heat-shock genes expressing homologs of HSP40, HSP70 and HSP86. One thousand and one elements were induced by oxidative stress including those expressing homologs of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Seventy-two elements were common to both stressors and could potentially be exploited in the development of novel anti-schistosomal therapeutics.

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