Genome sequencing, RNAseq, CRISPR technology, RNAi and High throughput screening techniques are transforming H. contortus in a very efficient model to discover new veterinary anthelminthics.
Haemonchus contortus, also known as the barber’s pole worm, is arguably the most injurious helminth parasite for small ruminants (cattle, sheep, and goat). The life cycle of Haemonchus is simple. Infective L3 larvae, ingested by the host on pasture, develop into adults in the abomasum and produce eggs that are passed in the feces. It was estimated that the annual economic losses caused by H. contortus to the livestock industry accounted for up to 300 million globally. The widespread resistance to most of the commercially available antiparasitic drugs requires an urgent development of new and more effective compounds.
Breakthrough advances in science is often reached through adaptation of existent methods and technologies coming from a different field. This is the case of H. contortus, where many methods coming from the C.elegans animal model has been incorporated. One of the recent advances includes the application of high throughput screening techniques, which has allowed the study of thousands of new molecules in this parasitic animal model (Taki et al 2021).