Using wMicroTracker for Parasitic Nematodes

Measuring Locomotor Activity

The wMicroTracker instrument can be used to measure the locomotor activity of parasitic nematodes cultured in liquid media and in multi-well plates. Users can get measurements of overall locomotor activity and viability of worms of various species and sizes.

Key advantages:

  • the only platform that combines high throughput activity measurement and species flexibility
  • tested for various nematode and trematode species, including H.contortus, O. ostertagi, hookworms and D. immitis.
  • can be placed directly inside an incubator for optimum temperature control

Figure 4. Detect and measure E. granulosus protoscoleces movement using the WMicroTracker System. Movement is detected when a population of more than 45 organisms/well is employed. Linear range is observed from 50 to 200 organisms/well for a 30-minute observation period.

Measuring Anthelmintic Activity

The conventional methods of measuring anthelmintic efficiency on  parasitic nematode larvae, are image-based, which makes them low throughput and often laborious. The wMicroTracker instrument can be used for library screening and drug discovery in a variety of parasitic nematodes.

Key advantages:

  • completely hands-free data acquisition in multi-wells
  • export directly into a spreadsheet for easy statistical analysis on any computer
  • no microscope, no heavy storage, no post-hoc analysis.

Figure 2. The concentration-response curve of EVP4593 on four ruminant parasites (mean ± S.D., n = 3). (Liu et al. 2018)

Species Compatibility

The conventional way of measuring anthelmintic activity for parasitic nematodes are laborious and low throughput. The wMicroTracker instrument can be used for library screening and drug discovery in parasitic nematodes.

The wMicroTracker has been tested and validated for the following parasitic species:

  • Echinococcus granulosus
  • Mesocestoides corti
  • Haemonchus contortus
  • Cooperia oncophora
  • Teladorsagia circumcincta
  • Ostertagia ostertagi

Learn more about the species compatibility by downloading the table below.

See table for more details

WMicrotracker Features
Liquid Culture
Works with 96 well microplates (Greiner)
Fits in an incubator (for temp. control)
Toxicity Assays
Acute drug exposure
Stress Response
Requires multiple worms/plate or well
Temperature monitoring

Transgenics in Parasitic Nematodes

It is difficult and expensive to rear parasites due to hosts. The availability of homologs and paralogs of genes in a tractable genetic model such as C. elegans is one of the major contributions to parasitology. Transgenic C. elegans can be used as a method for studying drug resistance genes of parasitic nematodes. C. elegans is easy to grow in the lab, and there are lots of phenotypic assays available that are not yet available for parasitic nematode.

"CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to introduce nematode parasite genes into the experimentally tractable and anatomically and physiologically relevant C. elegans model system. Studies have shown that C. elegans knock‐out strains can be functionally rescued with transformation of parasite transgenes". Zamanian & Anderson.

We can express parasite genes that are suitable for study in C. elegans. Share with us the parasitic worm gene you would like to study in C. elegans, and we would be happy to provide a no-cost analysis of project feasibility.  We have successfully took sequence from the parasite strains including Loa loa, Dirofilaria immitis, Toxocara canis and inserted a functional gene in the C. elegans genome with MosSCI technology.

ProductCat. No.Price
WMicroTracker (PC included)MTK100$17,600

Recent Publications

Study of parasitic nematodes using C. elegans:

  1. Expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits from parasitic nematodes in Caenorhabditis elegans. Sloan MA, Reaves BJ, Maclean MJ, Storey BE, Wolstenholme AJ. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2015 Nov;204(1):44-50.
  2. Glutamate-gated chloride channels of Haemonchus contortus restore drug sensitivity to ivermectin resistant Caenorhabditis elegans. Glendinning SK, Buckingham SD, Sattelle DB, Wonnacott S, Wolstenholme AJ. PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22390.
  3. Beta-tubulin genes from the parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus modulate drug resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Kwa MS, Veenstra JG, Van Dijk M, Roos MH. J Mol Biol. 1995 Mar 3;246(4):500-10.

Measuring Activities using wMicroTracker:

  1. Bioassay-guided isolation of three anthelmintic compounds from Warburgia ugandensis Sprague subspecies ugandensis, and the mechanism of action of polygodial. Liu M, Kipanga P, Mai AH, Dhondt I, Braeckman BP, De Borggraeve W, Luyten W.  Int J Parasitol. 2018 Sep;48(11):833-844. 
  2. Screening of a drug repurposing library with a nematode motility assay identifies promising anthelmintic hits against Cooperia oncophora and other ruminant parasites. Liu M., Landuyt B., Klaassen H., Geldhof P., Luyten W. Veterinary Parasitology. 2018 Dec. 
  3. The nervous and prenervous roles of serotonin in Echinococcus spp. Camicia F, Herz M, Prada LC, Kamenetzky L, Simonetta SH, Cucher MA, Bianchi JI, Fernández C, Brehm K, Rosenzvit MC. Int J Parasitol. 2013 Jul;43(8):647-59.
  4. Unique pharmacological properties of serotoninergic G-protein coupled receptors from cestodes. Rosenzvit MC et al. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Feb; 12(2): e0006267.

Technical Resources