Soaking protocols were successfully applied in nematode parasites belonging to clade III [A. suum, O. volvulus, B. malayi and L. sigmodontis (111–116)] and improved for specificity and efficiency to reduce off-target effects, toxicity and costs. In contrast, successful RNAi in
worms of clade V has only been reported for a small percentage of genes that were investigated in this group of nematodes [for example (117)]. Silencing effects on different genes from T. colubriformis, H. contortus and O. ostertagi were often inefficient, difficult to reproduce and dependent Ceritinib cost on delivery method used (118–121). In a more recent study, Lendner and colleagues failed to establish knock-down of tropomyosin in various life stages of H. polygyrus. Sunitinib order In this study, dsRNA seemed not to be taken up efficiently by the parasite regardless of delivery by feeding, soaking or electroporation, with the latter even found to be lethal to L1 larvae (122). As most described techniques for dsRNA delivery involve the removal of the parasite from the host, one major obstacle for successful RNAi is the ability to maintain healthy, viable worms under in vitro culture conditions required for consistent silencing effects (123). Therefore, RNAi approaches are limited to certain life stages of the respective parasite. To circumvent difficulties associated with common RNA delivery techniques, Song et al. tested
a new approach to establish RNAi in B. malayi parasites targeting
genes in developing larvae within the intermediate host. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were injected with dsRNA or siRNA targeting the B. malayi cathepsin L-like protease. Supplying the RNAi trigger in vivo to healthy worms in a host environment (‘in squito’) led to the highest reported specific reduction in target gene expression in B. malayi (83%) resulting in multiple phenotypes (124). These included reduced motility (69%) and growth retardation (48%) that lead to the prevention of larval development and reduced numbers of larvae migrating to the head of the mosquito, thereby abolishing parasite below transmission, decreasing parasite burden and increasing host survival. The mechanism by which the siRNAs reach the parasite within the mosquito is unclear but rapid dissemination of Cy3-labelled siRNA after injection into the haemocoel indicated the creation of a scenario in vivo that is similar to the soaking technique in vitro (124). In addition, low efficacy in delivery of dsRNA or siRNA might also be attributed to the lack of molecules involved in RNA uptake and transport to allow for systemic spread of interfering RNAs. Recent EST database analyses revealed that H. contortus apparently lacks orthologs for rde-4, responsible for dsRNA recognition and binding, as well as sid-1, sid-2, rde-2 and rsd-2 orthologs, required for dsRNA uptake and systemic spread, whilst dicer and drh-1 involved in dsRNA processing are present (122).