The Opisthorchis viverrini genome provides insights into life in the bile duct

Neil D. Young, Niranjan Nagarajan, Suling Joyce Lin, Pasi K. Korhonen, Aaron R. Jex, Ross S. Hall, Helena Safavi-Hemami, Worasak Kaewkong, Denis Bertrand, Song Gao, Qihui Seet, Sopit Wongkham, Bin Tean Teh, Chaisiri Wongkham, Pewpan Maleewong Intapan, Wanchai Maleewong, Xinhua Yang, Min Hu, Zuo Wang, Andreas HofmannPaul W. Sternberg, Patrick Tan, Jun Wang, Robin B. Gasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


Opisthorchiasis is a neglected, tropical disease caused by the carcinogenic Asian liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini. This hepatobiliary disease is linked to malignant cancer (cholangiocarcinoma, CCA) and affects millions of people in Asia. No vaccine is available, and only one drug (praziquantel) is used against the parasite. Little is known about O. viverrini biology and the diseases that it causes. Here we characterize the draft genome (634.5Mb) and transcriptomes of O. viverrini, elucidate how this fluke survives in the hostile environment within the bile duct and show that metabolic pathways in the parasite are highly adapted to a lipid-rich diet from bile and/or cholangiocytes. We also provide additional evidence that O. viverrini and other flukes secrete proteins that directly modulate host cell proliferation. Our molecular resources now underpin profound explorations of opisthorchiasis/CCA and the design of new interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4378
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 9 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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