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BioMed Research International - Volume 2015 2015, Article ID 206161, 9 pages -

Review ArticleDepartment of Immunology, Institute for Biomedical Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 04510 Mexico, DF, Mexico

Received 9 August 2014; Accepted 15 September 2014

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2015 Bárbara Moguel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Flatworms are one of the most diverse groups within Lophotrochozoa with more than 20,000 known species, distributed worldwide in different ecosystems, from the free-living organisms in the seas and lakes to highly specialized parasites living in a variety of hosts, including humans. Several infections caused by flatworms are considered major neglected diseases affecting countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. For several decades, a particular interest on free-living flatworms was due to their ability to regenerate considerable portions of the body, implying the presence of germ cells that could be important for medicine. The relevance of reverse genetics for this group is clear; understanding the phenotypic characteristics of specific genes will shed light on developmental traits of free-living and parasite worms. The genetic manipulation of flatworms will allow learning more about the mechanisms for tissue regeneration, designing new and more effective anthelmintic drugs, and explaining the host-parasite molecular crosstalk so far partially inaccessible for experimentation. In this review, availability of transfection techniques is analyzed across flatworms, from the initial transient achievements to the stable manipulations now developed for free-living and parasite species.

Autor: Bárbara Moguel, Raúl J. Bobes, Julio C. Carrero, and Juan P. Laclette



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