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Factors Affecting the Transmission and Maintenance of Zoonotic Parasites of Domestic Animals and Wildlife

Ballweber, Lora
Mississippi State University
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  1. Investigate prevalence and patterns of transmission of zoonotic agents of disease in Mississippi and elsewhere.
  2. Develop predictive models of the spatial and temporal distribution of disease risk through the integration of geospatial technologies.
More information
Non-Technical Summary- This project is for parasitology research in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University. It focuses on the ecological epidemiology of zoonotic and other parasites of domestic animals and wildlife. Patterns of and risk factors for parasite transmission, particularly Cryptosporidium and Giardia, will be investigated. Predictive geospatial based models for specific vector-borne diseases (e.g. , heartwater, Rocky Mountain spotted fever) important to Mississippi will be developed and incorporated into risk assessments.

Approach- Identification of reservoir hosts of Cryptosporidium and Giardia will use fecal smears stained with immunofluorescent monoclonal antibodies. Prevalence and risk factors will be determined among hosts. Identification of other zoonotic parasites, prevalence, and risk factors will use standard helminthological survey and epidemiological techniques. Genotypes will be determined where appropriate using PCR and sequencing of amplicons. Predictive models for the spatial and temporal distribution of disease risk will incorporate geospatial technologies along with biological data.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication