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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #407864

Research Project: Molecular, Immune and Microbiome Approaches for Mitigating GI Nematode Infections of Livestock

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Differential correlation of transcriptome data reveals gene-pairs and pathways involved in treatment of Citrobacter rodentium infection with a fruit bioactive

item Fleming, Damarius
item LIU, FANG - Zhengzhou University
item Li, Robert

Submitted to: Molecules
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2023
Publication Date: 10/31/2023
Citation: Fleming, D.S., Liu, F., Li, R.W. 2023. Differential correlation of transcriptome data reveals gene-pairs and pathways involved in treatment of Citrobacter rodentium infection with a fruit bioactive. Molecules. 28(21):7369.

Interpretive Summary: Livestock farmers incur needless cost when using ineffective anthelmintics and antibiotics. Animal health and productivity suffer. To evaluate one alternative, USDA researchers in Beltsville, Maryland assessed a pomegranate extract (punicalagin) for its ability to provoke immune responses, treating mice infected with a bacterium that induces colitis. This extract proved effective in combatting the infection, reducing injury, enhancing immune function, and enhancing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses needed for limiting harms. Should these results prove helpful to livestock, producers will benefit from inexpensive, ustainable, and effective alternatives to anthelmintic and antibiotic treatment.

Technical Abstract: This study is part of the work investigating bioactive fruit enzymes as sustainable alternatives to parasite anthelmintics that can help reverse the trend of lost efficacy. The study looked to define biological and molecular interactions that demonstrate the ability of the pomegranate extract punicalagin against intracellular parasites. The study compared transcriptomic reads of two distinct conditions. Condition A was treated with punicalagin (PA) and challenged with Citrobacter rodentium, while condition B (CM) consisted of a group that was challenged and given mock treatment of PBS. To understand the effect of punicalagin on transcriptomic changes between conditions, a differential correlation analysis was conducted. The analysis examined the regulatory connections of genes expressed between different treatment conditions by statistically querying the relationship between correlated gene pairs and modules in differing conditions. The results indicated that punicalagin treatment had strong positive correlations with the over-enriched gene ontology (GO) terms related to oxidoreductase activity and lipid metabolism. However, the GO terms for immune and cytokine responses were strongly correlated with no punicalagin treatment. The results matched previous studies that showed punicalagin to have potent antioxidant and antiparasitic effects when used to treat parasitic infections in mice and livestock. Overall, the results indicated that punicalagin enhanced the effect of tissue-resident genes.