College of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology

Douglas P. Jasmer 


Douglas P. Jasmer, PhD
Professor

In my laboratory, we investigate molecular and cellular aspects of host/parasite interactions and parasite biology. The parasites that are currently under investigation include two nematodes, Trichinella spiralis and Haemonchus contortus. Trichinella spiralis infects mammalian muscle cells during an early stage in its life cycle. Infected muscle is induced to undergo genetic reprogramming and to express a unique phenotype. Major goals of our research are to characterize this phenotype and uncover the mechanisms of the host and parasite that regulate this phenotype. Parasite products that localize to host nuclei and may chronically interfere with host gene expression are a specific focus of our current research.

Haemonchus contortus is an abomasal parasite of small ruminants. This parasite has become an important model to investigate biology of parasitic nematodes. Our current research has focused on antigens and biological properties of the nematode intestine. Antigens synthesized in the intestine of H. contortus have proven to induce remarkable levels of protection against challenge infections of this parasite. Some intestinal antigens that induce this protection been identified. Additional antigens with similar capability will be of interest to identify. Another goal of this research is to produce recombinant forms of these antigens that are competent to stimulate protective immunity.

In addition, the intestine is recognized as an important target for anthelmintics. A major aspect of our research has been to develop methods, reagents and a comprehensive gene data bank to support research on basic biology of the nematode intestine. Specific topics of research include mechanisms of secretory vesicle transport in intestinal cells, since inhibition of this process was associated with disintegration of the worm intestine. Hence, parasite proteins that mediate vesicle transport are of interest to identify.

Publications

Last Edited: Jul 21, 2009 4:56 PM   

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