Trematode Proteomics: Recent Advances and Future Directions
Bennett APS., Robinson MW.
<jats:p>Trematodes cause disease in millions of people worldwide, but the absence of commercial vaccines has led to an over-reliance on a handful of monotherapies to control infections. Since drug-resistant fluke populations are emerging, a deeper understanding of parasite biology and host interactions is required to identify new drug targets and immunogenic vaccine candidates. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics represents a key tool to that end. Recent studies have capitalised on the wider availability of annotated helminth genomes to achieve greater coverage of trematode proteomes and discover new aspects of the host–parasite relationship. This review focusses on these latest advances. These include how the protein components of fluke extracellular vesicles have given insight into their biogenesis and cellular interactions. In addition, how the integration of transcriptome/proteome datasets has revealed that the expression and secretion of selected families of liver fluke virulence factors and immunomodulators are regulated in accordance with parasite development and migration within the mammalian host. Furthermore, we discuss the use of immunoproteomics as a tool to identify vaccine candidates associated with protective antibody responses. Finally, we highlight how established and emerging technologies, such as laser microdissection and single-cell proteomics, could be exploited to resolve the protein profiles of discrete trematode tissues or cell types which, in combination with functional tools, could pinpoint optimal targets for fluke control.</jats:p>