Apoptosis in schistosomes: toward novel targets for the treatment of schistosomiasis Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Schistosomiasis is one of the world's major neglected tropical diseases. Recent advances in schistosome genomics and transcriptomics have identified components of an intrinsic, B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2)-regulated apoptotic cell death pathway. Molecular characterization of this pathway demonstrates its similarity to that in mammals. Gene expression and functional data indicate that apoptosis is active throughout the lifecycle. Moreover, drugs that activate apoptosis in human cells kill schistosome cells, raising the prospect of developing new treatments against schistosomiasis of humans. The development of new drugs is increasingly important in the face of the potential for resistance to currently available treatments, and the lack of an effective vaccine.

publication date

  • 2014