Could single-sex prawns serve the triple goal of alleviating poverty, protecting the environment and reducing disease?
BGU researchers Prof. Amir Sagi, who also serves as a member of the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) and his PhD student Tom Levy, say they may just have developed a monosex prawn that could make the winning trifecta possible.
In a groundbreaking study published last week in Scientific Reports, part of the Nature group, a research group headed by Prof. Sagi outline the development of male Macrobrachium rosenbergii with two female sex chromosomes but that lack the masculine sex chromosome – a so-called “super shrimp” that only produces female offspring. The emergence of an all-female population, developed together with the R&D team of Enzootic, a startup company specializing in all-female monosex aquaculture biotechnologies, could both increase aquaculture yields as well as serve as a natural agent to prevent the spread of harmful, water-bound parasites.
“We were able to achieve the monosex population without the use of hormones or genetic modifications and thus address both agricultural considerations, which favors monosex populations and ecological concerns. Prawns serve as efficient biocontrol agents against parasite carrying snails and since we can now use monosex prawns, which do not reproduce, it reduces the hazard of prawns becoming an invasive species” says Levy.
BGU partners with the “Espoir Pour La Santé” (EPLS) Biomedical Research Centre, a non-profit Senegalese medical research organization, which focuses its research on tropical infectious diseases that occur frequently in the sub-Saharan countries, including bilharzia and malaria?.
The publication comes on the heels of a study published in July in Nature Sustainability showing that freshwater prawn species serve as a biocontrol agent by preying on aquatic snail species that serve as intermediate hosts of the parasite that causes schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study Prof. Sagi and Dr. Amit Savaya of BGU joined forces with a large team of researchers around the world headed by Prof. Giulio De Leo of Stanford University to outline control strategies drawing on both prawn aquaculture to reduce intermediate host snail populations and mass drug administration to treat infected individuals. Integrating both methods is found to be superior to either one alone.
“With monosex prawns at profit-maximizing densities, the prawns substantially reduce intermediate host snail populations and aid schistosomiasis control efforts. Integrated aquaculture-based interventions can be a win–win strategy in terms of health and sustainable development in schistosomiasis endemic regions of the world,” says Prof. Sagi.
Schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms that can result in severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. In women, urogenital schistosomiasis may present with genital lesions, vaginal bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, and nodules in the vulva. In men, urogenital schistosomiasis can induce pathology of the seminal vesicles, prostate, and other organs.
The World Health Organization estimates that at least 220.8 million people each year require preventive treatment for the disease.
The Latest on: Schistosomiasis
via Google News
The Latest on: Schistosomiasis
- Essential Science: New treatment for the most neglected disease?on October 5, 2020 at 12:59 am
Schistosomiasis (or bilharzia) is a neglected tropical disease, and the one that causes significant ill-health effects to millions of people. The disease is caused by a parasitic worm.
- Finding the Achilles' heel of a killer parasiteon October 2, 2020 at 4:05 pm
Studies led by researchers at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are shedding light on the biology and potential vulnerabilities of schistosomes -- parasitic flatworms that cause the ...
- An immunoinformatics approach for the design of a multi-epitope subunit vaccine for urogenital schistosomiasison October 2, 2020 at 1:06 pm
This study therefore focused on exploring the role of HSPs in urogenital schistosomiasis to develop new multi-epitope subunit vaccine against the disease using immunoinformatic approaches. The ...
- Global Drugs for Schistosomiasis Market 2020 Competitive Dynamics, Growth Analysis, Segmentation and Worldwide Players Strategies up to 2025on September 29, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Global Drugs for Schistosomiasis Market 2020 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 ...
- Large-scale RNAi screening uncovers therapeutic targets in the parasite Schistosoma mansonion September 25, 2020 at 5:31 am
To aid in our quest to develop treatments, two studies undertook molecular investigations of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. By generating a single-cell atlas, Wendt et al. identified the ...
- Finding the Achilles' heel of a killer parasiteon September 24, 2020 at 1:12 pm
About 240 million people around the world have schistosomiasis—mostly children in Africa, Asia, and South America in populations that represent "the poorest of the poor," says study leader James J.
- Two studies shed light on the biology and potential vulnerabilities of schistosomeson September 23, 2020 at 4:59 pm
About 240 million people around the world have schistosomiasis - mostly children in Africa, Asia, and South America in populations that represent "the poorest of the poor," says study leader James J.
via Bing News