An Analytical Tool to Transform Genomic Approaches to Nagana
Andrew Jackson of the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom will develop a diagnostic tool for Animal African Trypanosomiasis (Nagana), which is caused by unicellular parasites known as trypanosomes and threatens up to 50 million cattle in sub-Saharan countries. To avoid immune detection, the causative trypanosomes change their DNA sequences (genomes), particularly in genes encoding for cell surface glycoproteins, which also affects the symptoms the parasites cause. They will sequence these trypanosome genes from forty parasites spanning diverse countries and hosts to quantify their variation. By associating the variation with disease factors, such as virulence and severity, this profile of variation can be developed as a diagnostic marker to improve disease management and treatment.