This book presents an overview of paratransgenesis, an innovative approach to the control of infectious disease. In paratransgenic interventions, an arthropod vector’s bacterial symbiont is transformed to express molecules directed against a target pathogen. The vector is inoculated with the transformed bacterium via a bait formulation. The bacteria replicate in the vector and export antipathogen molecules, resulting in interruption of disease transmission. Paratransgenesis offers a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to vector eradication using pesticides, which is limited by environmental toxicity, cost, and development of vector resistance.
Table of Contents
Global Health Challenges in the 21st century. A History of Paratransgenesis. Paratransgenic Laboratory Techniques. Paratransgenesis and vector borne disease in humans and animals. Paratransgenesis and aquatic disease. Paratransgenesis and agricultural pests. The structure of paratransgenic interventions. A risk assessment framework for paratransgenesis. The future of Paratransgenesis.
Dr. Ravi Durvasula is Chief of Infectious Diseases, Director of The Center for Global Health and Professor of Medicine at University of New Mexico School of Medicine. For nearly 15 years, Dr. Durvasula has been developing paratransgenic methods for control of important arthropod-borne infectious diseases. Dr. Durvasula's lab has developed novel control systems using engineered symbiotic and commensal bacteria of arthropods. His work on triatomine bug vectors of Chagas disease has been funded through NIH RO1 grants and he is currently establishing collaborative ties for validation of the approach in Argentina. Through a series of grants from the US Department of Agriculture, Dr. Durvasula's group has developed paratransgenic strategies to reduce transmission of plant pathogens via the pest arthropod, Glassy Winged Sharpshooter. In collaboration with investigators in India, Tunisia and Iran, the Durvasula group is developing paratransgenic approaches to control of transmission of leishmania parasites by sand flies.
Through the Center for Global Health at University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Dr. Durvasula maintains active collaborations across the globe, to further both research programs and clinical exchange with the United States. The author of over 100 manuscripts, book chapters and conference abstracts, Dr. Durvasula is widely recognized for his contributions to infectious diseases and, in particular, vector-borne diseases. In 2009, he was elected to The American Society for Clinical Investigation and he serves on numerous Study Sections of The National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and The Burroughs Wellcome Foundation.
Scott Matthews has worked in the laboratory of Ravi V. Durvasula since 2002. His work in paratransgenesis is extensive and includes development of the first risk assessment framework for paratransgenesis. He received a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University and is scheduled to graduate as an M. D. from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in May of 2015.