Genome-scale RNAi screens in African trypanosomes

David Horn

Trends in Parasitology 2021. Sep 24;S1471-4922(21)00226-9. doi: 10.1016/

Genome-scale genetic screens allow researchers to rapidly identify the genes and proteins that impact a particular phenotype of interest. In African trypanosomes, RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown screens have revealed mechanisms underpinning drug resistance, drug transport, prodrug metabolism, quorum sensing, genome replication, and gene expression control. RNAi screening has also been remarkably effective at highlighting promising potential antitrypanosomal drug targets. The first ever RNAi library screen was implemented in African trypanosomes, and genome-scale RNAi screens and other related approaches continue to have a major impact on trypanosomatid research. Here, I review those impacts in terms of both discovery and translation.