About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

CRISPR/Cas 9 Gene Editing Tool Limits Impact of Certain Parasitic Diseases

by Colleen Fleiss on January 17, 2019 at 9:21 AM
Font : A-A+

CRISPR/Cas 9 Gene Editing Tool Limits Impact of Certain Parasitic Diseases

George Washington University (GW) researchers have successfully used CRISPR/Cas9 to limit the impact of schistosomiasis and liver fluke infection, affecting more than a quarter of a billion people in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Their findings are found in two papers published today in the journal eLife.

"The genes we 'knocked out' using CRISPR/Cas9 resulted in markedly diminished symptoms of infection in our animal models," said Paul Brindley, PhD, professor of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and lead author. "Our research also showed that this revolutionary new biomedical procedure -- CRISPR/Cas9 -- can be adapted to study helminth parasites, which are a major public health problem in tropical climates."

Advertisement


CRISPR/Cas9 is a new technology that allows researchers to precisely target and deactivate the genetic information needed to produce a particular protein. While the tool has been used in other species before, it was unknown if it could be applied to Schistosoma mansoni and Opisthorchis viverrini, the parasites responsible for schistosomiasis and liver fluke infection.

Schistosomiasis can cause serious health problems, including damage to the liver and kidneys, infertility and bladder cancer. The freshwater worms S. mansoni enter the human body by burrowing into the skin; once in the bloodstream, they move to various organs where they rapidly start to reproduce. Their eggs release several molecules, including a protein known as omega-1 ribonuclease, which can damage the surrounding tissues. Brindley and his research team "knocked out" this protein using CRISPR/Cas9 and found that it greatly reduced the impact of the disease.
Advertisement

Liver fluke infection can cause a type of liver cancer called bile duct cancer, triggered by the presence of the worm O. viverrini. This parasite is transmitted through traditional Southeast Asian cuisines using uncooked or undercooked fish. Once inside the body, the parasite settles in the human liver and secretes a protein known as granulin that may encourage liver cells to multiply, raising the risk for cancer. Brindley and his research team used CRISPR/Cas9 to deactivate the gene that codes for granulin and create parasites that can only produce very little of the protein, leading to markedly reduced symptoms of liver fluke infection.

"These neglected tropical diseases affect more than a quarter of a billion people primarily living in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America," said Brindley. "As we work to better understand how these parasites invade and damage our bodies through this new technology, we will find new ideas for treatment and disease control."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Guide to Brushing Your Teeth the Right Way
Resting Heart Rate
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
DNA Finger Printing Weaver Syndrome CRISPR 

Recommended Reading
CRISPR
CRISPR is a gene editing tool that is revolutionizing medical care with prospective cure for ......
New Chinese-developed Drug Fights Tropical Disease Liver Fluke
A Chinese-developed drug against opisthorchiasis, a neglected tropical disease that threatens some ....
Helminths Increase Risk of Allergy, Asthma in Humans
The intestinal worms that are usually found in animals but if found in humans, it increases the ......
Test Your Knowledge on CRISPR
CRISPR/CAS Technology - Potential Cure For All Diseases CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered ......
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Weaver Syndrome
Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use