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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Mar 2;11(3):e0005398. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005398. eCollection 2017 Mar.

A multistrain approach to studying the mechanisms underlying compatibility in the interaction between Biomphalaria glabrata and Schistosoma mansoni.

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Univ. Perpignan Via Domitia, IHPE UMR 5244, CNRS, IFREMER, Univ. Montpellier, Perpignan, France.
MGX-Montpellier GenomiX, Montpellier Genomics and Bioinformatics Facility, Montpellier, France.


In recent decades, numerous studies have sought to better understand the mechanisms underlying the compatibility between Biomphalaria glabrata and Schistosoma mansoni. The developments of comparative transcriptomics, comparative genomics, interactomics and more targeted approaches have enabled researchers to identify a series of candidate genes. However, no molecular comparative work has yet been performed on multiple populations displaying different levels of compatibility. Here, we seek to fill this gap in the literature. We focused on B. glabrata FREPs and S. mansoni SmPoMucs, which were previously demonstrated to be involved in snail/schistosome compatibility. We studied the expression and polymorphisms of these factors in combinations of snail and schistosome isolates that display different levels of compatibility. We found that the polymorphism and expression levels of FREPs and SmPoMucs could be linked to the compatibility level of S. mansoni. These data and our complementary results obtained by RNA-seq of samples from various snail strains indicate that the mechanism of compatibility is much more complex than previously thought, and that it is likely to be highly variable within and between populations. This complexity must be taken into account if we hope to identify the molecular pathways that are most likely to be good targets for strategies aimed at blocking transmission of the parasite through the snail intermediate host.

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