Presentation Title

Survey of rodent Babesia infection in the Grand Teton National Park

Advisor Information

Bruce Chase

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 10:15 AM

End Date

8-3-2013 10:30 AM

Abstract

As human habitation increasingly encroaches on natural habitats, tick-mediated transmission of parasitic infection is an increasing problem for human health. Babesia is a tick-borne malarial-like parasite that commonly infects small mammals and is in prevalence in humans and range animals. Genetic analysis of strains of Babesia parasites endemic in native mammals from different localities can help address whether different ecosystems are isolated with regard to parasite transmission and address how pathogenic strains found in humans are related to those that are endemic in the wild. In order to begin exploring the relationships between parasitemia levels in Wyoming and other regions, surveys were completed in Grand Teton National Park, WY. Five sites with varying ecological factors were surveyed in the park. Small rodents were collected at each site and blood was drawn from these rodents. DNA was then extracted from both whole blood samples and isolated erythrocytes. Currently, portions of the Babesia microti genome are being sequenced. These sequences will be utilized as a control for PCR and qPCR assays to determine presence and magnitude of the parasite in rodents of Grand Teton National Park. Completion of genetic analysis of Babesia species found in the prairie vole populations in Wyoming holds value in the field of parasitology. Genetic assays have previously been completed in Brazil, as well as Europe and Japan. Developing this assay offers a means to contribute to understanding the complex relationships of Babesia populations’ diversity.

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Mar 8th, 10:15 AM Mar 8th, 10:30 AM

Survey of rodent Babesia infection in the Grand Teton National Park

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

As human habitation increasingly encroaches on natural habitats, tick-mediated transmission of parasitic infection is an increasing problem for human health. Babesia is a tick-borne malarial-like parasite that commonly infects small mammals and is in prevalence in humans and range animals. Genetic analysis of strains of Babesia parasites endemic in native mammals from different localities can help address whether different ecosystems are isolated with regard to parasite transmission and address how pathogenic strains found in humans are related to those that are endemic in the wild. In order to begin exploring the relationships between parasitemia levels in Wyoming and other regions, surveys were completed in Grand Teton National Park, WY. Five sites with varying ecological factors were surveyed in the park. Small rodents were collected at each site and blood was drawn from these rodents. DNA was then extracted from both whole blood samples and isolated erythrocytes. Currently, portions of the Babesia microti genome are being sequenced. These sequences will be utilized as a control for PCR and qPCR assays to determine presence and magnitude of the parasite in rodents of Grand Teton National Park. Completion of genetic analysis of Babesia species found in the prairie vole populations in Wyoming holds value in the field of parasitology. Genetic assays have previously been completed in Brazil, as well as Europe and Japan. Developing this assay offers a means to contribute to understanding the complex relationships of Babesia populations’ diversity.