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March 1, 2019

A systematic review of the Trypanosoma cruzi genetic heterogeneity, host immune response and genetic factors as plausible drivers of chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy.

Chagas disease is a complex tropical pathology caused by the kinetoplastid Trypanosoma cruzi. This parasite displays massive genetic diversity and has been classified by international consensus in at least six Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) that are broadly distributed in the American continent. The main clinical manifestation of the disease is the chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCC) that is lethal in the infected individuals. However, one intriguing feature is that only 30-40% of the infected individuals will develop CCC. Some authors have suggested that the immune response, host genetic factors, virulence factors and even the massive genetic heterogeneity of T. cruzi are…

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February 1, 2019

Draft Genome Sequence of Trypanosoma equiperdum Strain IVM-t1.

Trypanosoma equiperdum primarily parasitizes the genital organs and causes dourine in equidae. We isolated a new T. equiperdum strain, T. equiperdum IVM-t1, from the urogenital tract of a horse definitively diagnosed as having dourine in Mongolia. Here, we report the whole-genome sequence, the predicted gene models, and their annotations.

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November 1, 2018

Genome organization and DNA accessibility control antigenic variation in trypanosomes.

Many evolutionarily distant pathogenic organisms have evolved similar survival strategies to evade the immune responses of their hosts. These include antigenic variation, through which an infecting organism prevents clearance by periodically altering the identity of proteins that are visible to the immune system of the host1. Antigenic variation requires large reservoirs of immunologically diverse antigen genes, which are often generated through homologous recombination, as well as mechanisms to ensure the expression of one or very few antigens at any given time. Both homologous recombination and gene expression are affected by three-dimensional genome architecture and local DNA accessibility2,3. Factors that link…

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May 1, 2018

Expanding an expanded genome: long-read sequencing of Trypanosoma cruzi.

Although the genome of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, was first made available in 2005, with additional strains reported later, the intrinsic genome complexity of this parasite (the abundance of repetitive sequences and genes organized in tandem) has traditionally hindered high-quality genome assembly and annotation. This also limits diverse types of analyses that require high degrees of precision. Long reads generated by third-generation sequencing technologies are particularly suitable to address the challenges associated with T. cruzi's genome since they permit direct determination of the full sequence of large clusters of repetitive sequences without collapsing them. This, in…

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January 18, 2018

Genome sequence of Trypanosoma cruzi strain Bug2148.

Trypanosoma cruzi belongs to the group of mitochondrion-containing eukaryotes and has a highly plastic genome, unusual gene organization, and complex mechanisms for gene expression (polycistronic transcription). We report here the genome sequence of strain Bug2148, the first genomic sequence belonging to cluster TcV, which has been related to vertical transmission. Copyright © 2018 Callejas-Hernández et al.

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December 14, 2017

Comparative transcriptome profiling of virulent and non-virulent Trypanosoma cruzi underlines the role of surface proteins during infection.

Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan that causes Chagas disease, has a complex life cycle involving several morphologically and biochemically distinct stages that establish intricate interactions with various insect and mammalian hosts. It has also a heterogeneous population structure comprising strains with distinct properties such as virulence, sensitivity to drugs, antigenic profile and tissue tropism. We present a comparative transcriptome analysis of two cloned T. cruzi strains that display contrasting virulence phenotypes in animal models of infection: CL Brener is a virulent clone and CL-14 is a clone that is neither infective nor pathogenic in in vivo models of infection. Gene expression…

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October 16, 2017

Trypanosoma cruzi specific mRNA amplification by in vitro transcription improves parasite transcriptomics in host-parasite RNA mixtures.

Trypanosomatids are a group of protozoan parasites that includes the etiologic agents of important human illnesses as Chagas disease, sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis. These parasites have a significant distinction from other eukaryotes concerning mRNA structure, since all mature mRNAs have an identical species-specific sequence of 39 nucleotides at the 5' extremity, named spliced leader (SL). Considering this peculiar aspect of trypanosomatid mRNA, the aim of the present work was to develop a Trypanosoma cruzi specific in vitro transcription (IVT) linear mRNA amplification method in order to improve parasite transcriptomics analyses.We designed an oligonucleotide complementary to the last 21 bases of…

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February 24, 2016

De novo genome assembly shows genome wide similarity between Trypanosoma brucei brucei and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.

Trypanosoma brucei is a eukaryotic pathogen which causes African trypanosomiasis. It is notable for its variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) coat, which undergoes antigenic variation enabled by a large suite of VSG pseudogenes, allowing for persistent evasion of host adaptive immunity. While Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (Tbr) and T. b gambiense (Tbg) are human infective, related T. b. brucei (Tbb) is cleared by human sera. A single gene, the Serum Resistance Associated (SRA) gene, confers Tbr its human infectivity phenotype. Potential genetic recombination of this gene between Tbr and non-human infective Tbb strains has significant epidemiological consequences for Human African Trypanosomiasis outbreaks.Using…

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