The NIH-NIAID Schistosomiasis Resource Center at the Biomedical Research Institute: Molecular Redux
Schistosomiasis remains a health burden in many parts of the world. The complex life cycle of Schistosoma parasites and the economic and societal conditions present in endemic areas make the prospect of eradication unlikely in the foreseeable future. Continued and vigorous research efforts must therefore be directed at this disease, particularly since only a single World Health Organization (WHO)-approved drug is available for treatment. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)–National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Schistosomiasis Resource Center (SRC) at the Biomedical Research Institute provides investigators with the critical raw materials needed to carry out this important research. The SRC makes available, free of charge (including international shipping costs), not only infected host organisms but also a wide array of molecular reagents derived from all life stages of each of the three main human schistosome parasites. As the field of schistosomiasis research rapidly advances, it is likely to become increasingly reliant on omics, transgenics, epigenetics, and microbiome-related research approaches. The SRC has and will continue to monitor and contribute to advances in the field in order to support these research efforts with an expanding array of molecular reagents. In addition to providing investigators with source materials, the SRC has expanded its educational mission by offering a molecular techniques training course and has recently organized an international schistosomiasis-focused meeting. This review provides an overview of the materials and services that are available at the SRC for schistosomiasis researchers, with a focus on updates that have occurred since the original overview in 2008.