Schistosomiasis is a devastating parasitic disease caused by flatworms of the genus Schistosoma. The complex life cycles and developmental plasticity of these parasites have captured the attention of parsitologists for decades, yet little is known on the molecular level about the developmental underpinnings that have allowed these worms to thrive as obligate parasites. Here, we describe basic schistosome biology and highlight how understanding the functions of stem cells in these worms will transform our understanding of these parasites. Indeed, we propose that schistosomiasis is fundamentally as disease of stem cells. We hope this review will attract new interest in the basic developmental biology of these important organisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology