Human Helminths. Friend or Foe?

Chapter 87 Helminths: Pathogenesis and Defenses

Helminth Genomics: The Implications for Human Health

Circa 2009:  More than two billion people (one-third of humanity) are infected with parasitic roundworms or flatworms, collectively known as helminth parasites.

LET THAT SINK IN…Or maybe not…8)

These infections cause diseases that are responsible for enormous levels of morbidity and mortality, delays in the physical development of children, loss of productivity among the workforce, and maintenance of poverty. Genomes of the major helminth species that affect humans, and many others of agricultural and veterinary significance, are now the subject of intensive genome sequencing and annotation. Draft genome sequences of the filarial worm Brugia malayi and two of the human schistosomes, Schistosoma japonicum and S. mansoni, are now available, among others. These genome data will provide the basis for a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in helminth nutrition and metabolism, host-dependent development and maturation, immune evasion, and evolution. They are likely also to predict new potential vaccine candidates and drug targets. In this review, we present an overview of these efforts and emphasize the potential impact and importance of these new findings.

Conversely – Further Reading

Parasites – Centers for Disease Control

DATA- Parasites – Soil-transmitted helminths

The Global State of Helminth Control and Elimination in Children

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis in the United States: A Systematic Review—1940–2010

Public health deworming programmes for soil-transmitted helminths in children living in endemic areas.