Molecular tools for analysis of gene function in parasitic microorganisms

Markus Meissner, Carolina Agop-Nersesian, William J. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

25 Scopus citations


With the completion of several genome sequences for parasitic protozoa, research in molecular parasitology entered the "post-genomic" era. Accompanied by global transcriptome and proteome analysis, huge datasets have been generated that have added many novel candidates to the list of drug and vaccine targets. The challenge is now to validate these factors and to bring science back to the bench to perform a detailed characterization. In some parasites, like Trypanosoma brucei, high-throughput genetic screens have been established using RNA interference [for a detailed review, see Motyka and Englund (2004)]. In most protozoan parasites, however, more time-consuming approaches have to be employed to identify and characterize the function of promising candidates in detail. This review aims to summarize the status of molecular genetic tools available for a variety of protozoan pathogens and discuss how they can be implemented to advance our understanding of parasite biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-975
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Inducible system
  • Protozoan parasites
  • Recombinase
  • RNA interference
  • Transcription
  • Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Bioengineering
  • Microbiology (medical)

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