High-quality reference genome for Clonorchis sinensis

Neil D. Young, Andreas J. Stroehlein, Liina Kinkar, Tao Wang, Woon Mok Sohn, Bill C.H. Chang, Parwinder Kaur, David Weisz, Olga Dudchenko, Erez Lieberman Aiden, Pasi K. Korhonen, Robin B. Gasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Chinese liver fluke, Clonorchis sinensis, causes the disease clonorchiasis, affecting ~35 million people in regions of China, Vietnam, Korea and the Russian Far East. Chronic clonorchiasis causes cholangitis and can induce a malignant cancer, called cholangiocarcinoma, in the biliary system. Control in endemic regions is challenging, and often relies largely on chemotherapy with one anthelmintic, called praziquantel. Routine treatment carries a significant risk of inducing resistance to this anthelmintic in the fluke, such that the discovery of new interventions is considered important. It is hoped that the use of molecular technologies will assist this endeavour by enabling the identification of drug or vaccine targets involved in crucial biological processes and/or pathways in the parasite. Although draft genomes of C. sinensis have been published, their assemblies are fragmented. In the present study, we tackle this genome fragmentation issue by utilising, in an integrated way, advanced (second- and third-generation) DNA sequencing and informatic approaches to build a high-quality reference genome for C. sinensis, with chromosome-level contiguity and curated gene models. This substantially-enhanced genome provides a resource that could accelerate fundamental and applied molecular investigations of C. sinensis, clonorchiasis and/or cholangiocarcinoma, and assist in the discovery of new interventions against what is a highly significant, but neglected disease-complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1615
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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