Nature 460, 345-351 (16 July 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08140; Received 5 February 2009; Accepted 8 May 2009

The Schistosoma japonicum genome reveals features of host–parasite interplay

The Schistosoma japonicum Genome Sequencing and Functional Analysis Consortium

  1. Shanghai-MOST Key Laboratory of Health and Disease Genomics, Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai, 250 Bi Bo Road, Shanghai 201203, China.
  2. School of Life Science/Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, 220 Han Dan Road, Shanghai 200433, China.
  3. Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology, 100 Qinzhou Road, Shanghai 200235, China.
  4. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada.
  5. Comparative Genomics Centre/School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia.
  6. State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics and Shanghai Institute of Hematology, RuiJin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 197 Rui Jin Road II, Shanghai 200025, China.
  7. National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 207 Rui Jin Er Road, Shanghai 200025, China.
  8. Shanghai Center for Biochip Engineering, 151 Li Bing Road, Shanghai 201203, China.
  9. Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Tropical Medicine, George Washington University Medical Center, Ross Hall, Room 448, 2300 I Street, NW, Washington DC 20037, USA.
  10. Molecular Parasitology Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, 300 Herston Road, Brisbane, Queensland 4006, Australia.
  11. Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences/Beijing Genomics Institute, B-6 Beijing Airport Industrial Zone, Beijing 101300, China.
  12. Pathogen Sequencing Unit, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton CB10 1SA, UK.
  13. Genome Institute of Singapore, 60 Biopolis Street, Genome #02-01, 138672, Singapore.
  14. Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yue Yang Road, Shanghai 200031, China.

Correspondence to: Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to S.W. (Email:, Z.-G.H. (Email: or Z. Chen (Email:

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Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, which is a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and signalling pathways for growth, development and maturation. Having a complex nervous system and a well-developed sensory system, Sjaponicum can accept stimulation of the corresponding ligands as a physiological response to different environments, such as fresh water or the tissues of its intermediate and mammalian hosts. Numerous proteases, including cercarial elastase, are implicated in mammalian skin penetration and haemoglobin degradation. The genomic information will serve as a valuable platform to facilitate development of new interventions for schistosomiasis control.


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