Jobs in Parasitology
PhD studies in population genetics of Triclabendazole resistance in Liver Fluke parasites
The ARC has recently funded the Linkage Project “Liver fluke: improving disease control through understanding of parasite diversity, drug resistance and better diagnosis” by Prof Terry Spithill (La Trobe University), Prof Nick Sangster (CSU), Dr Tiggy Grillo (Australian Wildlife Health Network) and Dr Glenn Anderson (Virbac Australia Pty Ltd).
This project aims to improve our ability to control liver fluke infection in livestock through a better understanding of the underlying basis of treatment failure and the development of improved diagnostic tools to promote better use of antiparasitic drugs. The major aims of the project are to:
- define the existing genetic diversity and population structure of F. hepatica including populations susceptible and resistant to the drug triclabendazole;
- develop superior diagnostic tests for liver fluke infection;
- apply these diagnostic improvements to measure the extent of resistance in the field in NSW and N Victoria. This information will inform management decisions on parasite control.
The APAI student will:
- use genetic markers and karyotyping to examine wild-type fluke populations from sheep and cattle in NSW and N Victoria to define the level of diversity and chromosomal ploidy in a single host animal, and within host populations.
- examine the inter population diversity between F. hepatica isolated from cattle and sheep, and between populations collected from diverse geographical locations
- compare this diversity with flukes from animals not responding to triclabendazole treatment to determine whether “resistant” flukes exhibit lower diversity and distinct haplotypes and genotypes.
This project provides a sound basis for PhD training in molecular genetics, molecular phylogeny and parasite biology.
The stipend is $27651 pa (tax free) for 3 years.
For details, contact Professor Terry Spithill (email@example.com; 03-9479 2164). The student will be based at La Trobe University, Bundoora, in the Dept. of Agricultural Sciences: in late 2011 my lab will re-locate to the new $288M Centre for AgriBioscience (AgriBio) at La Trobe University (see http://www.latrobe.edu.au/agribio/).