Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics

Metabolomics, the study of the endogenously synthesized small molecules repertoire (nonproteinaceous), is of great relevance for establishing a wide view of cell physiology at specific moments, linking metabolic profiles to phenotypes and genotypes. To better understand biological systems, such as helminths life cycle, helminthic infection, and host-parasite interaction, metabolomics studies are crucial. For that, mass spectrometry-based metabolomics is the most popular strategy. Nontargeted metabolomics allows researchers to profile entire metabolomes present in cells, tissues, biofluids, or even samples as complex as stools. Through different mass spectrometric techniques, it is possible to unveil chemical markers for helminths, such as Schistosoma mansoni (a trematode) and Ascaris lumbricoides (a nematode), in addition to study mechanisms of action for different drugs, which targets parasites. Therefore, Mass Spectrometry allows designing biochemical pathways that may clarify the processes of parasite life cycle, helminthic infection, and host-parasite interaction, providing targets to further interference for parasite control or even infection treatment.

 

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