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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2009 Mar;104(2):185-9.

What new cell biology findings could bring to therapeutics: is it time for a phenome-project in Toxoplasma gondii?

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  • 1Hygieneinstitut, Departament of Parasitology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.


'If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat' (SunTzu the Art of War, 544-496 BC). Although written for the managing of conflicts and winning clear victories, this basic guideline can be directly transferred to our battle against apicomplexan parasites and how to focus future basic research in order to transfer the gained knowledge to a therapeutic intervention strategy. Over the last two decades the establishment of several key-technologies, by different groups working on Toxoplasma gondii, made this important human pathogen accessible to modern approaches in molecular cell biology. In fact more and more researchers get attracted to this easy accessible model organism to study specific biological questions, unique to apicomplexans. This fascinating, unique biology might provide us with new therapeutic options in our battle against apicomplexan parasites by finding its Achilles' heel. In this article we argue that in the absence of a powerful high throughput technology for the characterisation of essential gene of interests a coordinated effort should be undertaken to convert our knowledge of the genome into one of the phenome.

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