Improving schistosomiasis control using genomics and proteomics tools
Chiaka Anumudu1, Olugbenga Onile2, Adewale Adebayo1,3, Henrietta Awobode4, Raphael Isokpehi5
1Cellular Parasitology Programme, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria; 2Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State Nigeria; 3King's College London UK; 4Parasitology Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; 5College of Engineering and Sciences, Bethune Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
Validated diagnostic markers are key to the early detection and treatment of cancer. Indeed, if these biomarkers can be readily extracted and detected in bodily fluids, a simple, diagnostic test can be developed that would be of extreme value to patients especially in rural and resource-poor settings.
For urinary schistosomiasis, we are looking for such a marker, which can be used for the detection of Schistosoma associated bladder damage and schistosomiasis, in a low-tech-test. We have used proteomics and microbiome methods to search for such markers in our previous works, and identified a large number of targets. Using a cross sectional study design, we collected 371 blood and urine samples from adults resident in Eggua. The urine was screened by centrifugation for eggs of the parasite Schistosoma haematobium and later 49 samples by proteomics methods for molecules that could be uniquely indicative of schistosomiasis and bladder damage. Participants were also tested by ultrasound for bladder pathologies. Microbiome analysis was performed on 70 blood and urine samples using NGS and bioinformatics pipeline. A total of 1306 proteins, and 9701 unique peptides were observed, and 54 human proteins were found to be potential biomarkers for schistosomiasis and bladder pathologies. Due to the interesting biomarkers identified from these proteomic and microbiome studies, we are currently engaged in a research collaboration to repeat the studies and validate the results with a larger sample. Further work may be of interest in to make a comparative analysis of the usefulness of each of the 54 identified biomarkers for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis.