The Opisthorchis viverrini genome provides insights into life in the bile duct
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Opisthorchiasis is a neglected, tropical disease caused by the carcinogenic Asian liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini. This hepatobiliary disease is linked to malignant cancer (cholangiocarcinoma, CCA) and affects millions of people in Asia. No vaccine is available, and only one drug (praziquantel) is used against the parasite. Little is known about O. viverrini biology and the diseases that it causes. Here we characterize the draft genome (634.5?Mb) and transcriptomes of O. viverrini, elucidate how this fluke survives in the hostile environment within the bile duct and show that metabolic pathways in the parasite are highly adapted to a lipid-rich diet from bile and/or cholangiocytes. We also provide additional evidence that O. viverrini and other flukes secrete proteins that directly modulate host cell proliferation. Our molecular resources now underpin profound explorations of opisthorchiasis/CCA and the design of new interventions.
© The Author(s) 2014. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ ) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.