High-throughput decoding of drug targets and drug resistance mechanisms in African trypanosomes

David Horn (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The availability of genome sequence data has facilitated the development of high-throughput genetic screening approaches in microbial pathogens. In the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei, genome-scale RNA interference screens have proven particularly effective in this regard. These genetic screens allow for identification of the genes that contribute to a particular pathway or mechanisms of interest. The approach has been used to assess loss-of-fitness, revealing the genes and proteins required for parasite viability and growth. The outputs from these screens predict essential and dispensable genes and facilitate drug target prioritization efforts. The approach has also been used to assess resistance to anti-trypanosomal drugs, revealing the genes and proteins that facilitate drug uptake and action. These outputs also highlight likely mechanisms underlying clinically relevant drug resistance. I first review these findings in the context of what we know about current drugs. I then describe potential contributions that these high-throughput approaches could make to the development and implementation of new drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Early online date8 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Leishmania
  • RIT-seq
  • RNA interference
  • Trypanosoma brucei
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • General Medicine


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