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(Timisoara)Toxoplasma gondii infection in cardiovascular patients
Romania (FASMR) - University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Victor Babes", Timisoara
Prof. Dr. Tudor Rareș Olariu
Dr. Angela Dragomir
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
Toxoplasma is a parasitic disease which has a significant impact on public health. Scientifically named “Toxoplasma gondii”, the parasite has an obligatory intracellular habitate inside host's cells. One third of the world's population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii. The symptoms of toxoplasmosis are nearly inexistent in persons with a competent immune system. However, as far as immunosuppressed patients or, for example, congenitally-infected newborns are concerned, the consequences of toxoplasmosis infection are devastating. Clinical symptoms include: fever, lymphadenopathy, fatigue, myocarditis, pneumonia and hepatitis. Thus, while doing the differential diagnosis of heart illnesses Toxoplasma gondii should be taken into consideration as well.
What is the aim of the project?
This study aims to determine the serum-prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in conjunction with patient's socio- economic status and risk factors in patients who are in diagnosed with cardiac disease. Then, the study will analyze if there any correlations between toxoplasmosis and cardiac disease and, eventually, the study will be the basis of a national prevention program.
What techniques and methods are used?
Firstly, there is a bibliographic study with the purpose of reviewing PubMed articles referring to Toxoplasma gondii infection in patients with cardiac disease. Secondly, the project consists of prospective case- control studies of: socio-demographic characteristics, risk factors for toxoplasmosis, serum-prevalence of antiToxoplasma antibodies. Lastly, the project does the correlation between the presence of toxoplasma infection and serum biomarkers of cardiac damage. One other step in the project is to elaborate a prevention program.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will take assist the lab work hands- on, meaning that he or she will have to: - Transport serum samples from patients/ from storage to the laboratory. - Prepare the samples for analysis. - Setup the laboratory serum analyzers. -Read the analysis results and add the data in a database system for further use. -If the patient is positive for antiToxoplasma antibodies, gather further data about patient's socio-economic and demographic status. Moreover, the analysis will continue with gathering information about patient's cardiac damage biomarkers, process in which the student will also take part. -The student will be put in the position of searching for articles which contain information about patients having toxoplasmosis and how it influences the cardiac function (case-control study). The search will take place on sites such as PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/). - The student will extract ideas from the articles about possible correlations, which will be subject to reviewing using the actual collected data from patients.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
There will be a post-arrival training about the laboratory and its equipment for analysis, as well as laboratory basic procedures. Further information about toxoplasmosis (the disease) as well as about the Toxoplasma gondii (the parasite) will be provided by the parasitology department.
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?
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
The student will have to sign a confidentiality agreement in which he or she declares that will not use the data for personal benefit or disclose patient personal information.
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
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