BACKGROUND: Opisthorchiasis is a parasitic infection caused by the liver flukes of the Opisthorchiidae family. Both experimental and epidemiological data strongly support a role of these parasites in the etiology of the hepatobiliary pathologies and an increased risk of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Understanding a functional link between the infection and hepatobiliary pathologies requires a detailed description a host-parasite interaction on different levels of biological regulation including the metabolic response on the infection. The last one, however, remains practically undocumented. Here we are describing a host response on Opisthorchiidae infection using a metabolomics approach and present the first exploratory metabolomics study of an experimental model of O. felineus infection.
METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) based longitudinal metabolomics study involving a cohort of 30 animals with two degrees of infection and a control group. An exploratory analysis shows that the most noticeable trend (30% of total variance) in the data was related to the gender differences. Therefore further analysis was done of each gender group separately applying a multivariate extension of the ANOVA-ASCA (ANOVA simultaneous component analysis). We show that in the males the infection specific time trends are present in the main component (43.5% variance), while in the females it is presented only in the second component and covers 24% of the variance. We have selected and annotated 24 metabolites associated with the observed effects and provided a physiological interpretation of the findings.
CONCLUSIONS: The first exploratory metabolomics study an experimental model of O. felineus infection is presented. Our data show that at early stage of infection a response of an organism unfolds in a gender specific manner. Also main physiological mechanisms affected appear rather nonspecific (a status of the metabolic stress) the data provides a set of the hypothesis for a search of the more specific metabolic markers of the Opisthorchiidae infection.
- Journal Article