|Institution||Queen's University, Belfast|
School: School of Biological Sciences
Project: Identifying Environmental Factors for Soil Transmitted and Food Borne Helminth Diseases in Border Regions of Northern Thailand.
Undergraduate Education: BSc Bioscience, University Centre Peterborough, Anglia Ruskin University
Postgraduate Education:MSc One Health, Utrecht University
Research: Parasitic worm infections (helminthiases) of humans greatly impact low to medium income countries such as Thailand, by undermining health and agricultural productivity. Thailand is classified as an ‘Upper Middle Income’ Country. However, due to the nature of helminth diseases, endemic sites are significantly impacted by border countries including Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, all of which are classified as ‘Least Developed’ Countries. Parasite eggs found in the soil or unwashed vegetables are the primary source of infection. Similarly, food borne diseases, including the cancer-causing Opisthorchis, are contracted by consuming uncooked fish, and are linked to water sources, and the interaction between snail and fish hosts. This project will use recently published human prevalence data  to focus on specific locations and parasite species (Opisthorchis viverrini, hookworm, Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura) in endemic regions of Northern Thailand. Environmental sampling and eDNA methods will be established at QUB and then performed in Thailand, so that environmental components of disease transmission can be identified. The aim of collecting such accurate prevalence data is to help guide future public health initiatives, highlight the need for more rigorous surveillance in these regions, including help guide the design of this project as it moves forward.
- Reference article:  Adisakwattana P, Yoonuan T, Phuphisut O, Poodeepiyasawat A, Homsuwan N, Gordon CA, McManus DP, Atkinson LE, Mousley A, Gobert GN: Clinical helminthiases in Thailand border regions show elevated prevalence levels using qPCR diagnostics combined with traditional microscopic methods. Parasit Vectors 2020, 13(1):416. This article is available here.
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rea-tatem-dokter-594509150/
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