The largest study so far about the genetic makeup of parasitic worms has found hundreds of new indications of attacking the human body, avoiding the immune system and causing disease.
The results indicate potential de-rheumation treatments to counter some of the most valuable tropical diseases – including rectal blindness, schistosomiasis, and hip disease – affecting around 1 billion people worldwide.
"Parasitic worms are some of our oldest enemies and have evolved for millions of years to be expert manipulators of the human immune system," said Macedonian Mitreva from the McDonnell Genome University of Washington University that led colleagues from the British Vellcome Sanger Institute and Edinburgh University .
She said that the results of this study will lead to deeper knowledge of biology of parasites and a better understanding of how the human immune system can be used or controlled.
Parasitic worm infections can last for many years and can cause severe pain, physical defects, retarded development in children, and a social stigma associated with deformity.
Current drugs to fight them – including drugs produced by Sanofi, GSK and Johnson & Johnson – can be moderately effective and often donated by drug manufacturers or sold at reduced prices to those who need it. But the range of drugs to treat worm infections is still limited.
In order to try to improve the potential drugs for drugs and to understand how worms are attacking and living in humans and other animals, the research team compares the genomes of 81 types of black and black worms, including 45 that never before had their own genome.
The analysis revealed nearly one million new genes that were previously not visible, which belonged to thousands of new gene families and identified many new potential drugs and drugs goals.
"We have focused our search on existing drugs for human illness," said Avril Coghlan of the Sanger Institute Institute, who worked on the team. She said this provided a quick way to "determine existing drugs that could be repaired for devorming."
The findings of the study were published on Monday in the journal Natural genetics.