Student Awarded

Adedokun Adeyinka Samuel

Country: Nigeria

Project Title: Molecular and immunogenetic characterization of suppression of tumorigenicity2 (ST2) gene in urinary schistosomiasis

Institution: Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria

Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitic disease, caused by Schistosoma spp, afflicting more than 200 million people globally. Schistosoma haematobium is the causative agent of urinary schistosomiasis and the most common disease form in Africa.

Significant differences in infectivity and disease severity among individuals exposed to same rates of infection have been observed in endemic communities. Also, host genetics seems to be a mitigating factor in determining who gets infected. Six single nucleotide polymorphisms of the suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) gene have been found to show differing relationship with Schistosoma japonicum and Schistosoma mansoni. Surprisingly there is no information on Schistosoma haematobium. How these polymorphisms mediate infectivity and disease severity between West and East Africa is yet to be delineated. This study will decipher the genetic diversity of ST2 genetic polymorphisms (rs127112135; rs1041973; rs10173081; rs1420101; rs6543119 and rs10206753) between disease and control groups, quantify soluble ST2 levels and evaluate expression of ST2 gene in S. haematobium infected and uninfected control groups, recruited from south-western, Nigeria.

Genomic DNA will be extracted using a commercially available DNA extraction kit. ST2 SNPs will be genotyped by PCR followed by restriction digestion. ST2 Serum levels will be measured using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Total RNA will be extracted using commercially available kit. RNA concentration and purity will be assessed with a NanoDrop, and reverse transcribed to cDNA using a commercially available 2 step Reverse transcriptase kit. cDNA Quantitative PCR will be performed using specific primers and probes on TaqMan Real time PCR platform.

African Supervisor

D Olusola Ojurongbe

D. Olusola Ojurongbe

African Host Country: Nigeria

Institution: Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria

Laboratory: Tropical Disease Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology

The Tropical Disease Research laboratory is research group within the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, LadokeAkintola University of Technology Osogbo campus. The activities of the laboratory include conducting epidemiological and clinical research in malaria, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths and other Neglected tropical diseases. Specifically the group focuses on molecular epidemiology, drug resistance and host pathogen interactions (gene association studies) of our parasites of interest. The laboratory enjoy equipment support and modest contribution from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. Currently there are 4 PhD and 6 MSc Students working actively in the research group.

International Supervisor

Bolaji N Thomas

Bolaji N. Thomas

International Host Country: United States of America

Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology

Laboratory: Immunology Research Laboratory

The research activities in Thomas laboratory, Rochester Institute of Technology, are geared towards tropical infectious diseases (malaria, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and trypanosomiasis) and sickle cell disease, utilizing Parasitology, Immunology, Population Genetics and Computational Biology skills. Current projects are focused on characterizing evolutionary drivers of immune response and functional elements in bovine trypanosomiasis, molecular surveillance and immune system regulation via host genetic variations and signalling pathways, and their contributions to disease susceptibility, severity and treatment outcome. Including designing new therapeutic regimens from natural products, deconvoluting immunoregulatory biomarkers regulating schistosomiasis or disease burden in coastal West Africa, as opposed to other parts of Africa. This includes deciphering the immunogenetic dynamics contributing to diversity in disease pathophysiology between African and American sickle cell disease.