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Nat Genet. 2014 Mar;46(3):261-269. doi: 10.1038/ng.2875. Epub 2014 Jan 19.

Genome of the human hookworm Necator americanus.

Author information

1
The Genome Institute at Washington University, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
2
Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
3
Department of Pediatrics, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
4
Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Houston, Texas, USA.
5
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA.
6
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA.
7
Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics, Queensland Tropical Health Alliance, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.
8
Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
9
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
10
Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
11
Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
12
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA.
13
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington DC, USA.
14
Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
15
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

The hookworm Necator americanus is the predominant soil-transmitted human parasite. Adult worms feed on blood in the small intestine, causing iron-deficiency anemia, malnutrition, growth and development stunting in children, and severe morbidity and mortality during pregnancy in women. We report sequencing and assembly of the N. americanus genome (244 Mb, 19,151 genes). Characterization of this first hookworm genome sequence identified genes orchestrating the hookworm's invasion of the human host, genes involved in blood feeding and development, and genes encoding proteins that represent new potential drug targets against hookworms. N. americanus has undergone a considerable and unique expansion of immunomodulator proteins, some of which we highlight as potential treatments against inflammatory diseases. We also used a protein microarray to demonstrate a postgenomic application of the hookworm genome sequence. This genome provides an invaluable resource to boost ongoing efforts toward fundamental and applied postgenomic research, including the development of new methods to control hookworm and human immunological diseases.

PMID:
24441737
PMCID:
PMC3978129
DOI:
10.1038/ng.2875
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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