Metabolomics to unveil and understand phenotypic diversity between pathogen populations

t'Kindt, R. et al. (2010) Metabolomics to unveil and understand phenotypic diversity between pathogen populations. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 4(11), e904. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000904)



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Visceral leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite called Leishmania donovani, which every year infects about half a million people and claims several thousand lives. Existing treatments are now becoming less effective due to the emergence of drug resistance. Improving our understanding of the mechanisms used by the parasite to adapt to drugs and achieve resistance is crucial for developing future treatment strategies. Unfortunately, the biological mechanism whereby Leishmania acquires drug resistance is poorly understood. Recent years have brought new technologies with the potential to increase greatly our understanding of drug resistance mechanisms. The latest mass spectrometry techniques allow the metabolome of parasites to be studied rapidly and in great detail. We have applied this approach to determine the metabolome of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant parasites isolated from patients with leishmaniasis. The data show that there are wholesale differences between the isolates and that the membrane composition has been drastically modified in drug-resistant parasites compared with drug-sensitive parasites. Our findings demonstrate that untargeted metabolomics has great potential to identify major metabolic differences between closely related parasite strains and thus should find many applications in distinguishing parasite phenotypes of clinical relevance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Coombs, Professor Graham and Breitling, Professor Rainer and Brunker, Dr Kirstyn and Decuypere, Miss Saskia
Authors: t'Kindt, R., Scheltema, R.A., Jankevics, A., Brunker, K., Rijal, S., Dujardin, J.-C., Breitling, R., Watson, D.G., Coombs, G.H., Decuypere, S., and Geary, T.G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
Journal Name:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1935-2735
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4(11):e904
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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