Heritable transgenesis of Parastrongyloides trichosuri: A nematode parasite of mammals Academic Article uri icon


  • Germline transformation of a parasitic nematode of mammals has proven to be an elusive goal. We report here the heritable germline transformation of Parastrongyloides trichosuri, a nematode parasite whose natural hosts are Australian possums of the genus Trichosurus. This parasite can undergo multiple free-living life cycles and these replicative cycles can be maintained indefinitely in the laboratory. Transformation was achieved by microinjection of DNA into the ovary syncytium of either free-living or parasitic adult females. By selecting for the transgenic progeny of successive free-living life cycles, it was possible to establish and maintain transgenic lines. All three transgenic lines tested were shown capable of establishing patent infections in possums and to transmit the functional transgene to their progeny. The transgene, driven by the Pt hsp-1 promoter, was constitutively expressed in intestinal cells at all stages of both parasitic and free-living life cycles, although gene silencing appears to occur in some transgenic progeny. This is the first report of heritable transgenesis in a parasitic nematode of a mammal and we discuss a variety of previously inaccessible experimental avenues that will now be possible with this powerful model system.


  • Grant, Warwick N
  • Skinner, Stephen JM
  • Newton-Howes, Jan
  • Grant, Kirsten
  • Shuttleworth, Gail
  • Heath, David D
  • Shoemaker, Charles B

publication date

  • April 2006