Genome of the human hookworm Necator americanus

Yat T. Tang, Xin Gao, Bruce A. Rosa, Sahar Abubucker, Kymberlie Hallsworth-Pepin, John Martin, Rahul Tyagi, Esley Heizer, Xu Zhang, Veena Bhonagiri-Palsikar, Patrick Minx, Wesley C. Warren, Qi Wang, Bin Zhan, Peter J. Hotez, Paul W. Sternberg, Annette Dougall, Soraya Torres Gaze, Jason Mulvenna, Javier SotilloShoba Ranganathan, Elida M. Rabelo, Richard K. Wilson, Philip L. Felgner, Jeffrey Bethony, John M. Hawdon, Robin B. Gasser, Alex Loukas, Makedonka Mitreva*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    145 Citations (Scopus)
    17 Downloads (Pure)


    The hookworm Necator americanus is the predominant soil-transmitted human parasite. Adult worms feed on blood in the small intestine, causing iron-deficiency anemia, malnutrition, growth and development stunting in children, and severe morbidity and mortality during pregnancy in women. We report sequencing and assembly of the N. americanus genome (244 Mb, 19,151 genes). Characterization of this first hookworm genome sequence identified genes orchestrating the hookworm's invasion of the human host, genes involved in blood feeding and development, and genes encoding proteins that represent new potential drug targets against hookworms. N. americanus has undergone a considerable and unique expansion of immunomodulator proteins, some of which we highlight as potential treatments against inflammatory diseases. We also used a protein microarray to demonstrate a postgenomic application of the hookworm genome sequence. This genome provides an invaluable resource to boost ongoing efforts toward fundamental and applied postgenomic research, including the development of new methods to control hookworm and human immunological diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-269
    Number of pages9
    JournalNature Genetics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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