Characterization of beta-tubulin genes in hookworms and investigation of resistance-associated mutations using real-time PCR

Schwenkenbecher, JM; Albonico, M; Bickle, Q; Kaplan, RM; (2007) Characterization of beta-tubulin genes in hookworms and investigation of resistance-associated mutations using real-time PCR. Molecular and biochemical parasitology, 156 (2). pp. 167-174. ISSN 0166-6851 DOI:

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Human hookworms (Ancylostoma duodenale., Necator americanus) are a major cause of malnutrition and anemia, particularly in children, and high worm burdens can lead to stunted growth and mental retardation. Mass drug administration (MDA) with benzimidazole (BZ) anthelmintics has the potential to greatly reduce morbidity and infection prevalence. However, such treatment strategies may apply significant selection pressure on resistance alleles. In several Strongylid parasites of livestock, resistance to BZ drugs is associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the beta-tubulin isotype-1 gene at codons 167 and 200. As an initial investigation into the possible development of BZ resistance in hookworms, we have cloned and sequenced the beta-tubulin isotype-1 genes of the canine hookworm Ancylostoma caninum and the two human hookworm species A. duodenale and N. americanus. The genomic sequences are highly conserved as evidenced by a similar structure of exons and introns; the 10 exons are of the same length in all three species and code for the same amino acids. The genomic sequences were then used to develop a real-time PCR assay for detecting polymorphisms in codons 167 and 200 in all three species. Hookworm specimens previously obtained from Pemba Island school children who had demonstrated a reduced response to treatment with mebendazole were then examined using the real-time PCR assay. None of the samples revealed significant levels of polymorphisms at these loci. If BZ resistance is present in the hookworm populations examined, the results do not support the hypothesis that changes in codons 167 and 200 of beta-tubulin isotype-1 are responsible for any resistance. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ancylostomatoidea, drug effects, genetics, isolation & purification, Animals, Anthelmintics, pharmacology, Benzimidazoles, pharmacology, Dogs, Drug Resistance, genetics, Humans, Mutation, Parasitic Diseases, parasitology, Parasitic Diseases, Animal, parasitology, Polymerase Chain Reaction, methods, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, genetics, Tubulin, genetics
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
PubMed ID: 17850900
Web of Science ID: 251096500009


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