Evaluation of the immune response in T. cruzi infection transmitted by Rhodnius pallescens with Wolbachia species. And without Wolbachia species using an animal model.
Universidad de Panama
Human Microbiology
Maria Mireya Muñoz
Carmen Indira Espino
Spanish, Portuguese
4 weeks
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular bacterium (Makepeace et al., 2006) present in some 20 to 75% of the different insect species (Jeyaprakash and Hoy, 2000; Baldo et al., 2005; Stouhamer et al., 1999; Van Meer et al., 1999; Werren et al. 1995; Werren and Windsor, 2000). It is also present in some parasitic nematodes, which is transmitted vertically in the cytoplasm of the egg. The Wolbachia has been used to manipulate genes in the vector control, and knowledge about their interaction with Onchocerca volvulus have been the basis to test new treatments and improve the health of patients. Given the influence of Wolbachia on some insects and the relationship of Wolbachia in R. pallescens so far unknown, compels us to investigate the possible interaction that Wolbachia may have with Tripanosoma cruzi at the inception of the pathogenesis in host and reflect on the inflammatory immune response. Knowing these interactions new lines of research arise in options for finding more effective treatments and thus reduce mortality from this disease.
What is the aim of the project?
- Evaluate the immune response of mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi from Rhodnius pallescens with Wolbachia spp. and without Wolbachia spp.
What techniques and methods are used?
Wolbachia detected in the faeces of triatomine conventional polymerase chain reaction and sequencing of the gene 16SrDNA to identify strains. Perform confocal microscopy to Rodnius pallescens fecal content with and without Wolbachia infected and not infected with Tripanosoma cruzi. Measure Inflammatory immune responses in serum and tissue by ELISA (Enzyme linked immunosorbet assay) and RT qPCR (real time quantitave real time polymerase chain reaction) respectively. Detect anti Wolbachia and anti Tripanosoma cruzi antibodies in sera of infected mice. Determine the Tripanosoma cruzi parasite load by Real Time Polymerase chain reaction sacrificed at the end of the study mice.
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will work in a molecular biology laboratory. Will learn about the proper use and applications of molecular biology tools and the management of laboratory animals. The student will also be able to infect Triatomines with Tripanosoma cruzi and monitor the infection and to inoculate mice by peritoneal and transcutaneous route with suspensions of Tripanosoma cruzi + Wolbachia and Tripanosoma cruzi without Wolbachia. The student will review some new literature about the Chaga’s disease and will discuss it with the Microbiology and Parasitology’s Professors from the department. She or he will participate in some microbiology and parasitology classes and will share with our medical students in a designated laboratory.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Students must have basic knowledge of molecular biology, immunology, parasitology and microbiology. They must also know how to handle laboratory instruments such as centrifuges, pipettes, thermocyclers and laminar flow.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Students in biomedical fields
- Chagas Disease (American Trypanosomiasis). Author: Louis V Kirchhoff; MD; MPH