Nematode virulence proteomics as worm resistance markers in sheep
Worm components which enhance infectivity may be targets for neutralisation by host defences and the reaction may be exploited as a marker to identify resistant and susceptible sheep.
Gastrointestinal nematode parasites are the major cost to livestock productivity in Australia. With increasing resistance to the available chemicals, alternative control measures are needed urgently. One of these is to utilise resistant stock if methods could be devised to enable rapid and early selection of resistant or susceptible animals. Current research has identified variable infectivity by several strains of Haemonchus contortus (Barber’s pole worm) and infectivity will be linked to the proteins produced by early stages of the parasite in order to identify key “virulence” proteins. This research project will examine host responses and the patterns of recognition of these key proteins and then investigate the use of a panel of worm proteins as selection markers which may discriminate resistant from susceptible sheep. The project research involves the use of in vitro (biopsy) models of worm infectivity assays, protein assay and fractionation (proteomics) and immunoblotting together with assay development and field validation (from lab to field). In addition, the researcher will have access to wider Australian research arena in parasitology as well as Industry producers and field workers.
Techniques include genomics and proteomics, immunoassay, possible funding through SheepGenomics.
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The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 115