National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
Helminth-microbe co-infection: insights from a natural system.
Seminar presented by Dr. Vanessa Ezenwa,University of Georgia .
Concurrent infection by multiple parasites can shape the trajectory and outcome of infectious diseases. For example, coinfections with parasitic worms can affect the progression and severity of microbial infections, including many viral and bacterial infections. Although an increasing number of studies are investigating the consequences of worm-microbe coinfections in laboratory settings, we still know very little about the repercussions of coinfection in natural environments. This is despite the fact that a majority of hosts (including humans) are infected with multiple parasites simultaneously. To understand the impacts of worm coinfection in natural populations, my laboratory studies interactions between gastrointestinal worm infections and bovine tuberculosis in free-ranging African buffalo. Using a coupled experimental and longitudinal study design, our work is revealing that both active infection with worms, and the host's constitutive response to worm infection, have profound implications for the outcome of tuberculosis at the individual and population levels.
About the speaker: Dr. Vanessa Ezenwa is a Professor at the University of Georgia, USA, where she holds joint appointments in the Odum School of Ecology and College of Veterinary Medicine. She received a BA in Biology from Rice University, and PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. Her research centers on the ecology of infectious diseases in wild animal populations, with a specific focus on linking processes across scales of biological organization. Work in Dr. Ezenwa’s lab combines field studies with molecular and theoretical approaches to address key questions about the dynamics of parasitism in natural systems.
SESYNC seminars are open to all interested attendees. Join us in Annapolis!
The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at www.sesync.org and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.