Unravelling Interactions Between Schistosomes, the Microbiome and Anti-Helminthic Drugs in a Ugandan Field Setting.

Mon9  Apr04:15pm(15 mins)
Stream 4 - Edward Llwyd 0.01
Miss Lauren Carruthers


L V Carruthers1; C Rowel2; D Ajambo2; A Nakasi2; A Atuhaire2; F Besigye2; M Arinaitwe2; A Wamboko2; M Adriko2; C L Faust1; E Tukahebwa2; P H Lamberton1
1 Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and comparative Medicine, and Wellcome Centre for Parasitology, University of Glasgow, UK;  2 Vector Control Division, Ministry of Health, Uganda



Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that infects millions of people globally, mainly in developing countries. In the Mayuge district of Uganda, the prevalence of schistosomiasis has been increasing in some communities even with over a decade of annual mass drug administration interventions. We aim to further understand schistosomiasis to help improve treatment success and disease control. The role of the microbiome in health and disease is becoming increasingly apparent and correlations between gut bacterial structure and helminth infection have been demonstrated both in laboratory and natural settings. The influence the gut microbiome may have on treatment efficacy has been reported for a wide variety of drugs. This research therefore aims to address whether associations between schistosomes, the bacterial gut microbiome and anti-helminthic drugs are present in a community highly endemic with schistosomiasis and whether these interactions are important when considering control and treatment options for the disease. Since the field setting is a challenging environment in which to undertake research, an initial pilot study has been undertaken to compare stool 16S rRNA microbiome sequencing profiles of three children at time point zero and determine how these profiles vary with storage technique used and time to taken to freeze. Stool was stored raw, in RNAlater and in ethanol and then frozen on dry ice at doubling time increments at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 h post collection.  These children were tested for schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminth infections and malaria. Initial study findings will be discussed.


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