Huajun Zheng, Wenbao Zhang, Liang Zhang, Zhuangzhi Zhang, Jun Li, Gang Lu, Yongqiang Zhu, Yuezhu Wang, Yin Huang, Jing Liu, Hui Kang, Jie Chen, Lijun Wang, Aojun Chen, Shuting Yu, Zhengchao Gao, Lei Jin, Wenyi Gu, Zhiqin Wang, Li Zhao, Baoxin Shi, Hao Wen, Renyong Lin, Malcolm K. Jones, Brona Brejova, Tomas Vinar, Guoping Zhao, Donald P. McManus, Zhu Chen, Yan Zhou, Shengyue Wang. The genome of the hydatid tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Nature genetics, 2013.
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Cystic echinococcosis (hydatid disease), caused by the tapeworm E. granulosus, is responsible for considerable human morbidity and mortality. This cosmopolitan disease is difficult to diagnose, treat and control. We present a draft genomic sequence for the worm comprising 151.6 Mb encoding 11,325 genes. Comparisons with the genome sequences from other taxa show that E. granulosus has acquired a spectrum of genes, including the EgAgB family, whose products are secreted by the parasite to interact and redirect host immune responses. We also find that genes in bile salt pathways may control the bidirectional development of E. granulosus, and sequence differences in the calcium channel subunit EgCavbeta1 may be associated with praziquantel sensitivity. Our study offers insights into host interaction, nutrient acquisition, strobilization, reproduction, immune evasion and maturation in the parasite and provides a platform to facilitate the development of new, effective treatments and interventions for echinococcosis control.