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Parasite virulence: the role of activation and suppression of P2X7 receptors

Funding: 2006: $80,000
2007: $70,000
2008: $70,000

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2006

Summary: Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania major, two serious pathogens of humans and animals, can suppress the host's immune response in the parasites' favour, enabling them to replicate unabated during the initial phase of infection. Exactly how they do this has never been fully elucidated. This study will be the first to investigate the role of P2X7 receptors (which are implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases) in enabling the host to prevent infection by Toxoplasma and Leishmania. It will also determine the countermeasures used by these parasites that allow them to establish a chronic infection. This will advance the understanding of host-parasite relationships and enable us to develop rational control strategies.

Keywords: medical and agricultural parasitology, virulence, zoonotic infectious diseases, immunoregulation, P2 purinergic receptors, chronic infection,

FOR Codes: Parasitology, Infectious Diseases, Cell Development (incl. Cell Division and Apoptosis), Clinical health not specific to particular organs, diseases and conditions, Child health, Veterinary Parasitology, Cell Development, Proliferation and Death, Neurodegenerative Disorders Related to Ageing, Cell development, proliferation and death, Clinical health, Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)