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Identification of structural proteins in the tissue cyst wall of Toxoplasma gondii

Funding: 2005: $6,000
2006: $6,000

Project Member(s): Smith, N., Wallach, M.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage International)

Start year: 2005

Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that is well recognised as a cause of miscarriage or birth defects in otherwise healthy people, but it can also cause severe neurological disorders in immunocompromised people. Once inside the body, it hides from the immune system by encapsulating itself within a cyst wall where it remains dormant for years; infected people are at constant risk of reinfection. We will identify the structural proteins within the cyst wall, using sensitive, revolutionary mass spectrometers, and identify the mechanisms involved in cyst wall formation. These proteins and mechanisms will be the targets for new strategies to control infection.

Keywords: parasitic protozoan, tissue cyst, cyst wall, protein identification, toxoplasma gondii, mass spectrometry,

FOR Codes: Medical Parasitology, Analytical Biochemistry, Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified, Prevention-biologicals (e.g. vaccines), Treatments (e.g. chemicals antibiotics), Disease distribution and transmission, Human Biological Preventatives (e.g. Vaccines), Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response), Human Pharmaceutical Treatments (e.g. Antibiotics)