"Molecular epidemiology and drug resistance of Chagas disease agent Trypanosome cruz in Colombia"

Feb 18, 2015, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Eno Hall Room 209
Event Description

Professor Omar Triana, Biology and Control of Infectious Diseases Group, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia

Omar Triana is a profesor at Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, where he is the head of the Biology and Control of Infectious Diseases (BCEI) group. He got his masters degree in Genetics from the Universidad de Antioquia and his doctorate in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. His group studies many infectious disease endemic to Colombia, including Chagas disease and dengue fever. 

Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, is one of the most interesting microparasitic organisms in life, not only for its medical importance but also for its primitive origins. Trypanosoma species have a lot of features that differentiate them from other eukaryotes, such as the occurrence of glycolysis in an organelle, mitochondrial DNA that is not just a single circle, and the mRNA synthesis that is polycistronic. My group is interested in the genetic characteristics of this parasite in order to identify what genotypes are circulating in different areas of Colombia. Additionally, we are interested in epidemiological aspects of Chagas disease and the behavior of T. cruzi in relation to drug resistance. In my presentation, I will show some of our results on the T. cruzi genotypes that are circulating in Colombian endemic and non-endemic regions, and which vector species are involved in the transmission, which is critical for health authorities designing Chagas disease control and surveillance programs. Furthermore, I will show that protein nitroreductase is one of the most important proteins involved in the resistance to drugs in T. cruzi, and that this protein could be used as biomarker for people infected with Chagas disease.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.