COMSTECH-NTD NETWORK JOINT LECTURE SERIES “Genome organization of the Trypanosoma cruzi complex”

Prof. Dr. Carlos Robello
Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de la República (Uruguay) and Principal Investigator at the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo

Date: March 22, 2022

Time:  4:00 PM Pak time (8 AM Uruguay time)

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NTDs (neglected tropical diseases) are a major health and economic burden in Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states. The control and elimination of NTDs requires both a scale-up and integration of global mass treatment programs, along with new tools and technologies to tackle these diseases.  COMSTECH, in collaboration with A Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (known as the NTD Network (, is launching a virtual lecture series for researchers across the Moslem world and beyond. 


Recent technological developments in long-read sequencing allowed us to determine the structure complex genomes with a high number of repetitive sequences as is the case for Trypanosoma cruzi that in addition to presenting a high number of tandem repeats and retro-elements, is composed of multigene families. We were able to describe the genome architecture of T. cruzi, allowing us to accurately estimate gene copy numbers, abundance and distribution of repetitive sequences (including satellites, retroelements and tandems of protein coding genes.

In particular, the finding that the genome is composed of a “core compartment” and a “disruptive compartment”, the latter containing the most relevant genes implied in the interaction with their hosts (surface multigene families) allowed us to delve into this organization, finding that epigenetic regulation is highly relevant in these parasites. In addition, comparative studies done both in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes leads us to the conclusion that these parasites constitute a complex of species, formed by four main lineages (A to D) and a hybrid lineage (BC), and three types of maxicircles (a, b and c).

Target Audience:

This webinar is open to academics, scientists and the general public from all OIC member states.  The content is most relevant to scientists interested in NTDs research, and specialized in Microbiology, Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, and Pathology. 

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