alexa Genetic code of liver fluke parasite

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Genetic code of liver fluke parasite

The fluke enters the human body through the ingestion of raw or undercooked contaminated fish. Once in the small intestines, the worm migrates to the liver's bile ducts, where it lodges, feeds and matures. It is not known for certain how the fluke causes cancer. One widely accepted hypothesis is that the fluke secretes a protein mimicking the human growth hormone, granulin, which is extremely potent at stimulating cell growth and proliferation and is therefore highly regulated in the body. Infected individuals however, are constantly exposed to granulin-like proteins secreted by flukes, which subsequently cause host cells to proliferate uncontrollably, leading to tumour growth. This work builds on our earlier work to complete the picture of host and pathogen genetics of cholangiocarcinoma. These new genomic resources provide a foundation for systems biology investigations of host-pathogen interactions, with a view to uncovering new treatment strategies, Professor Tan added.

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