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The most frequent intestinal helminth infections in humans are attributed to Ascaris lumbricoides, and there are concerns over the anthelminthic resistance of this species. The gut microbiota has essential roles in host physiology. Therefore, discovering host-parasite-microbiota interactions could help develop alternative helminthiasis treatments. Additionally, these interactions are modulated by functional metabolites that can reveal the mechanisms of infection and disease progression. Thus, we aimed to investigate bacteriomes in the gut of helminths and fecal samples of patients via next-generation sequencing. Our results showed that infection intensity was associated with the bacterial composition of helminth guts but not with the intestinal bacteriome of human hosts. Moreover, the metabolomes of A. lumbricoides in the heavy and light ascariasis cases were characterized using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Increased levels of essential biomolecules, such as amino acids, lipids, and nucleotide precursors, were found in the guts of helminths isolated from heavily infected patients, implying that these metabolites are related to egg production and ascariasis pathogenicity. These findings are the first step towards a more complete understanding of the mechanisms by which the bacteriome of helminth guts affect their colonization and may reveal novel and more effective approaches to parasitic disease therapy.

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Journal article


Sci Rep

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Humans, Animals, Ascaris lumbricoides, Ascariasis, Gastrointestinal Microbiome, Helminthiasis, Helminths, Feces, Metabolome