Stem cell progeny contribute to the schistosome host-parasite interface

James J. Collins, George R. Wendt, Harini Iyer, Phillip A. Newmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schistosomes infect more than 200 million of the world’s poorest people. These parasites live in the vasculature, producing eggs that spur a variety of chronic, potentially life-threatening, pathologies exacerbated by the long lifespan of schistosomes, that can thrive in the host for decades. How schistosomes maintain their longevity in this immunologically hostile environment is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that somatic stem cells in Schistosoma mansoni are biased towards generating a population of cells expressing factors associated exclusively with the schistosome host-parasite interface, a structure called the tegument. We show cells expressing these tegumental factors are short-lived and rapidly turned over. We suggest that stem cell-driven renewal of this tegumental lineage represents an important strategy for parasite survival in the context of the host vasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12473
Issue numberMARCH2016
StatePublished - Mar 22 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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