Helminth genome analysis: The current status of the filarial and schistosome genome projects

S. A. Williams, D. A. Johnston, Martin Aslett, Lou Ann Bierwert, Mark L. Blaxter, Jennifer Daub, Jeremy Foster, Mehul Ganatra, David Guiliano, Susan Haynes, Kunthala Jayaraman, Ibrahim H. Kamal, K. Kannan, Sandra J. Laney, Wen Li, Michelle Lizotte-Waniewski, Wenhong Lu, Nithyakalyani Raghavan, Reda M.R. Ramzy, R. V. RaoLori Saunders, Alan L. Scott, Barton Slatko, Taniawati Supali, Jennifer Ware, Vasco Azevedo, Paul Brindley, Guilherme Correa De Oliviera, Zheng Feng, Gloria R. Franco, Hiro Hirai, Amr Karim, Philip T. LoVerde, Don McManus, Joe Merrick, Ray Pierce, Elida Rabelo, David Rollinson, Mohamed Saber, David L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Genome projects for the parasitic helminths Brugia malayi (a representative filarial nematode) and Schistosoma were initiated in 1995 by the World Health Organization with the ultimate objectives of identifying new vaccine candidates and drug targets and of developing low resolution genome maps. Because no genetic maps are available, and very few genes have been characterized from either parasite group, the first goal of both Initiatives has been to catalogue new genes for future placement on chromosome and physical maps. These genes have been identified by the expressed sequence tag (EST) approach, utilising cDNA libraries constructed from diverse life cycle stages. To date, the Initiatives have deposited over 16000 Brugia ESTs and nearly 8000 Schistosoma ESTs in Genbank's dbEST database, corresponding to 6000 and over 3600 genes respectively (33% of Brugia's estimated gene compliment, 18-24% of that of Schistosoma). Large fragment, genomic libraries have been constructed in BAC and YAC vectors for studies of genomic organization and for physical and chromosome mapping, and public, hypertext genomic databases have been established to facilitate data access. We present a summary of progress within the helminth genome initiatives and give several examples of important gene discoveries and future applications of these data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S19-S38
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Brugia
  • EST
  • Expressed sequence tag
  • Filarial nematode
  • Gene discovery
  • Genome analysis
  • Genome project
  • Informatics
  • Physical mapping
  • Schistosoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases


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