Multiomic analysis of Schistosoma mansoni reveals unique expression profiles in cercarial heads and tails

Hagerty, James R., et al. “Multiomic Analysis of Schistosoma Mansoni Reveals Unique Expression Profiles in Cercarial Heads and Tails.” Communications Biology, no. 1, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, July 2021. Crossref, doi:10.1038/s42003-021-02366-w.


Schistosomes require both molluscan and mammalian hosts for development. The larval cercaria exits the snail host and swims to identify and invade the mammalian host. The cercaria has two macrostructures, the head and the tail. The head invades the host, where it matures into an adult worm. The tail is lost after host invasion. Translation in the cercaria differs in each macrostructure, with higher levels of translation in the cercarial tail and little to no translational activity in the cercarial head. We compared the transcriptome and proteome of the cercarial head and tail and observed stark differences between the two macrostructures. We identified unique and differentially expressed transcripts and proteins, including ribosomal components expressed in higher levels in tails than in heads, which may explain the differences in translation levels between heads and tails. We also characterized the weak correlation between transcription and translation in infectious cercarial heads and tails.