A Portrait of the Transcriptome of the Neglected Trematode, Fasciola gigantica—Biological and Biotechnological Implications Academic Article uri icon


  • Fasciola gigantica (Digenea) is an important foodborne trematode that causes liver fluke disease (fascioliasis) in mammals, including ungulates and humans, mainly in tropical climatic zones of the world. Despite its socioeconomic impact, almost nothing is known about the molecular biology of this parasite, its interplay with its hosts, and the pathogenesis of fascioliasis. Modern genomic technologies now provide unique opportunities to rapidly tackle these exciting areas. The present study reports the first transcriptome representing the adult stage of F. gigantica (of bovid origin), defined using a massively parallel sequencing-coupled bioinformatic approach. From >20 million raw sequence reads, >30,000 contiguous sequences were assembled, of which most were novel. Relative levels of transcription were determined for individual molecules, which were also characterized (at the inferred amino acid level) based on homology, gene ontology, and/or pathway mapping. Comparisons of the transcriptome of F. gigantica with those of other trematodes, including F. hepatica, revealed similarities in transcription for molecules inferred to have key roles in parasite-host interactions. Overall, the present dataset should provide a solid foundation for future fundamental genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic explorations of F. gigantica, as well as a basis for applied outcomes such as the development of novel methods of intervention against this neglected parasite.


  • Young, Neil D
  • Jex, Aaron R
  • Cantacessi, Cinzia
  • Hall, Ross S
  • Campbell, Bronwyn E
  • Spithill, Terence W
  • Tangkawattana, Sirikachorn
  • Tangkawattana, Prasarn
  • Laha, Thewarach
  • Gasser, Robin B

publication date

  • February 1, 2011