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New approaches for understanding mechanisms of drug resistance in schistosomes



Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects hundreds of millions worldwide. Treatment and control of schistosomiasis relies almost entirely on the single drug praziquantel (PZQ), making the prospect of emerging drug resistance particularly worrisome. This review will survey reports of PZQ (and other drug) resistance in schistosomes and other platyhelminths, and explore mechanisms by which drug resistance might develop. Newer genomic and post-genomic strategies that offer the promise of better understanding of how drug resistance might arise in these organisms will be discussed. These approaches could also lead to insights into the mode of action of these drugs and potentially provide markers for monitoring the emergence of resistance.


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Corresponding author: Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Tel: 215-898-5678. Fax: 215-898-5301. E-mail:


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New approaches for understanding mechanisms of drug resistance in schistosomes



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