The parasite Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei) is the cause of a tsetse fly-borne disease of vertebrate animals, primarily of cattle and occasionally other animals. In humans, the parasites cause African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness. Our parasitology program includes a multidisciplinary study of the role of T cells and cytokines in the immunopathogenesis of trypanosome infections (Dr. Meiqing Shi), intravascular immune responses to T. brucei (Dr. Shi), dynamic interactions of immune cells with T. brucei in the brain (Dr. Shi). The intravital microscopy has been well used in Dr. Shi's laboratory to visualize interactions between immune cells and T. brucei.
We also study mucosal immune responses against gastrointestinal nematode parasites in livestock and animal models. In this nematode study, Dr. Zhu’s lab is collaborating with Dr. Wenbin Tuo through a research project agreement. Dr. Tuo is a senior research scientist at Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, USDA ARS, Beltsville, MD.