Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

NIAID, Partners Sequence Genome of Worm that Causes Elephantiasis, River Blindness

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the J. Craig Venter Institute, Johns Hopkins University and other partner institutions have completed a draft sequence of the genome of a parasitic worm that causes elephantiasis and river blindness and is common in South Asia and in Indonesia.
Brugia malayi is a worm of the type called filarial nematode, which has four larval stages and moves through two host types, humans and mosquitoes.
The researchers sequenced roughly 90 Mb of the genome, and predicted around 11,500 protein coding genes in around 71 Mb of "robustly assembled sequence," according to a report in this week’s issue of Science.
The teams assembled scaffolds totaling around 71 Mb of data, and the researchers estimate the genome to be around 90 Mb to 95 Mb.
By comparing the Brugi malayi genome to that of the previously sequenced Caenorhabditis elegans genome, the researchers found that "despite these genes having maintained little conservation of local synteny during 350 million years of evolution, they largely remain in linkage on chromosomal units."
Analysis of the predicted proteome, the report suggests, should "offer a foundation for rational drug design" to combat the illnesses for which it is responsible.
While drugs are currently available to combat the worm, they "often must be taken for years, and the worms can cause massive immune reactions when they die," the authors wrote.
Also, current drugs are limited in that they "target the larvae only and do not completely kill the adult worms."

The Scan

Follow-Up Data Requests to Biobank Participants Ineffective, Study Finds

An effort to recontact biobank enrollees for additional information reports low participation in a new BMJ Open study.

Study Finds Widespread Transmission of Resistant Bacteria in Vietnam Hospitals

A sequencing study in The Lancet Microbe finds widespread transmission of drug-resistant Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii in two Vietnam ICUs.

Novel Brain Cell Organoids Show Promise for Autism Research

University of Utah researchers report in Nature Communications on their development of brain cell organoids to study SHANK3-related autism.

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.