What's in a worm?  The microbiota of horse roundworms.  - BugBitten

What’s in a worm? The microbiota of horse roundworms. – BugBitten

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have undertaken the first study and characterization of the microbiota of a parasitic roundworm, an equine parasite, and the differential microbiota in the organs of a parasitic nematode.

Parascaris, a hard-to-kill nematode.

Parascaris species., are important pathogenic parasites of juvenile horses and the first roundworms to develop widespread resistance to anthelmintics. Parascaris worms are found in the small intestine of horses, feeding on the intestinal contents. They also have migratory stages.

Abandoned the infections are considered highly pathogenic for young horses and can also be very difficult to treat, with increasing reports of widespread anthelmintic resistance to all three classes of anthelmintic drugs.

There is an urgent need to find alternative approaches to parasite control in the veterinary sector to address the problem of anthelmintic resistance, especially for Parascaris speciesbefore current drugs ceased to offer treatment for these infections.

Microbiota community.

Microbiota, the microorganisms that live on or in a defined environment, are increasingly studied in the context of health, as there is evidence that their composition and interactions can impact health, self-problems -immune to sanity. It is now being exploited as a potential intervention to improve health outcomes, including in the control of human parasites.

A 2019 publication listed the top 100 research questions, out of 385, for the field of livestock helminthology, as voted on by researchers in the field, and the parasitic worm microbiome (the genetic information of the microbiota) was number 73.

Researchers from the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky have completed the first characterization of the microbiota of a parasitic roundworm. The research team examined:

  • Whole worm microbiota of adult male, adult female and immature worms.
  • Specific microbiota of gonad organs and intestines of nematodes.

DNA was extracted and next-generation sequencing, short-read 16S rRNA sequences and Illumina sequencing were used to characterize and compare the microbiota of whole worms and specific organs. The data was analyzed for:

  • Diversity analysis using alpha diversity (Shannon and Simpson diversity indices) and beta diversity (Bray-Curtis dissimilarity).
  • Differential abundance analysis using 4 different methods: DESeq2, ANCOM-BC, corn cob and metagenomeSeq.


A recent study by Jennifer Cain and colleagues is the first characterization of the microbiota of a roundworm parasite. The researchers found that there were 11 shared genera of bacteria in the groups studied (worm life stages, sex and organs).

Whole worm microbiota diversity indices were not significantly different between male, female and juvenile whole worms. However, when examining specific organs, there were significant differences in diversity between the microbiota of female and male gonads, with male gonads showing greater diversity. And looking at the abundance, there were differences in the abundance of bacterial species in different organs – especially for Veillonelle and Task bacteria. This suggests that using the whole worm to characterize the worm microbiota may mask nuances in the microbiotic composition of different organs, and in this case the results are important because differences were found between male and female gonads. Studies show that the microbiota can play an important role in the reproduction of helminths.

This is an exciting first study of the microbiota of a parasitic roundworm and opens up research potential to develop alternative treatments for the control of difficult-to-treat helminths, as well as the potential to manipulate the microbiome for veterinary control. helminths.

#Whats #worm #microbiota #horse #roundworms #BugBitten

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