Whole-genome sequencing of Schistosoma mansoni reveals extensive diversity with limited selection despite mass drug administration

Berger, D. J. et al. (2021) Whole-genome sequencing of Schistosoma mansoni reveals extensive diversity with limited selection despite mass drug administration. Nature Communications, 12, 4776. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24958-0) (PMID:34362894) (PMCID:PMC8346512)

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Control and elimination of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis relies on mass administration of praziquantel. Whilst these programmes reduce infection prevalence and intensity, their impact on parasite transmission and evolution is poorly understood. Here we examine the genomic impact of repeated mass drug administration on Schistosoma mansoni populations with documented reduced praziquantel efficacy. We sequenced whole-genomes of 198 S. mansoni larvae from 34 Ugandan children from regions with contrasting praziquantel exposure. Parasites infecting children from Lake Victoria, a transmission hotspot, form a diverse panmictic population. A single round of treatment did not reduce this diversity with no apparent population contraction caused by long-term praziquantel use. We find evidence of positive selection acting on members of gene families previously implicated in praziquantel action, but detect no high frequency functionally impactful variants. As efforts to eliminate schistosomiasis intensify, our study provides a foundation for genomic surveillance of this major human parasite.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding was via core funding of the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Wellcome grants 098051 and 206194), by support of T.C. via an MRC DTP Studentship (under the supervision of J.P.W. and J.A.C.), and fieldwork was supported within the remit of ongoing Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) monitoring and evaluation activities. F.A. and the Schistosome Collection at the Natural History Museum (SCAN) were supported by Wellcome grant 1045958/Z/13/Z.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lamberton, Professor Poppy
Authors: Berger, D. J., Crellen, T., Lamberton, P. J.L., Allan, F., Tracey, A., Noonan, J. D., Kabatereine, N. B., Tukahebwa, E. M., Adriko, M., Holroyd, N., Webster, J. P., Berriman, M., and Cotton, J. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 12: 4776
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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