Revealing the associated microflora hosted by the globally significant parasite Trichostrongylus colubriformis

Erwin A Paz, Eng Guan Chua, Dieter G Palmer, Johan C Greeff, Shimin Liu, Carolina Cheuquemán, Shamshad Ul Hassan, Graeme B Martin, Chin Yen Tay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trichostrongylus colubriformis is a parasitic helminth that primarily infects small ruminants, causing substantial economic losses in the livestock industry. Exploring the microbiome of this helminth might provide insights into the potential influence of its microbial community on the parasite's survival. We characterised the intestinal microbiome of T. colubriformis that had been collected from the duodenum of sheep, and compared the helminth microbiome with the duodenal microbiome of its host, aiming to identify contributions from the helminth's environment. At the same time, we explored the isolation of fastidious organisms from the harvested helminth. Primary alpha and beta diversity analyses of bacterial species revealed statistically significant differences between the parasite and the host, in terms of species richness and ecological composition. 16S rRNA differential abundance analysis showed that Mycoplasmoides and Stenotrophomonas were significantly present in T. colubriformis but not in the duodenal microbiome of the sheep. Furthermore, two bacteria, Aeromonas caviae and Aeromonas hydrophila, were isolated from T. colubriformis. Examinations of the genome highlight differences in genome size and profiles of antimicrobial resistance genes. Our results suggest that T. colubriformis carries a specific bacterial community that could be supporting the helminth's long-term survival in the host's digestive system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3723
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date14 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2024


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