Parasitic helminths infect billions of people and animals worldwide. Although drugs are available totreat many infections, the drugs used for treatment of human helminth parasites are expensive andoften not distributed to the areas of the world with the most infections, and evidence in agriculturallyimportant animals has indicated that the parasites have developed resistance to many classes ofdrugs. Additionally, vaccine development has been slow. Helminth parasites have differingmechanisms of reproduction and location of infection in the hosts; however, the immune responsesof the hosts to the worm infection are remarkably similar. To address the problem of parasitism andeffectively develop treatments, we need a greater understanding of the immune response to theinvading parasite.This proposal has three primary objectives:1) compare the published quantitative trait loci (QTL) regions for helminth parasite resistance andimmune responses from human, mouse, sheep and cow using comparative genomics to identifychromosomal regions for fine mapping,2) identify candidate genes using molecular genetic (QTL fine-mapping) and functional genomicapproaches (microarrays and cytokine production), and3) utilize an effective vaccination method to determine candidate genes related to susceptibility andresistance to internal parasite infections with a functional genomic approach. Preliminary data fromcomparative genomics indicates that a QTL on Chr 1 of the mouse overlaps with QTL in the otherspecies and will be a primary target of analysis. The three objectives have a collective goal ofidentifying potential candidate genes involved in the immune response that leads to resistance toparasite infections. The identification of the genes involved in the immune response and resistancecan enhance the development of new drugs or vaccines.The understanding of genes involved in the immune response and parasite resistance may lead tothe development of new drugs or vaccines. The development of low-cost, effective treatments canimprove the health of individuals in many underdeveloped regions of the world.
|Tu, Yi; Mao, Weidong (2012) A distance-based cluster algorithm for genomic analysis in genetic disease. Interdiscip Sci 4:90-6|
|Sayre, B L; Harris, G C (2012) Systems genetics approach reveals candidate genes for parasite resistance from quantitative trait loci studies in agricultural species. Anim Genet 43:190-8|