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Training Years: 2014-2015

Training Site: UPCH

Country: Peru

Mentor: Seth O’Neal, MD; Hector Garcia, MD, PhD

Title: Risk Mapping of T. solium Infections of Northern Peru.

Project Objectives:

Hypothesis: There will be shared genetic lineage among T. solium cysts found in tongue-positive pigs and T. solium intestinal tapeworms found in humans living within 100 meters of these pigs.

Aim 1: To determine the genetic and geospatial relationship between larval and adult stage T. solium that infect pigs and humans respectively in an endemic area. Layering the two data streams, genetic and geospatial, We will clarify the pathways of biological dispersal from one host to the next. If the microsatellite DNA collected from human feces samples is genetically identical to the DNA samples collected from nearby pigs then it is reasonable to assume that the pig screening has successfully identified the source of the spreading infection. Instead, if the two T. solium samples are not genetically related, then the pig tongue-screening step may be revealed as unnecessary in the community treatment of neurocysticercosis. In this case, random or mass screening may prove equally or more effective.

NIH Support:  Fulbright-Fogarty scholars doctoral training award

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