The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences participates in the Chagas Disease OneHealth team that is coordinated by the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
Chagas disease is a devastating cardiac disease of humans and dogs caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and is spread by kissing bug vectors that are prevalent across central and South America. In South America, the disease has been reported in cattle and pigs, potentially creating an economic threat to communities in Texas. This transdisciplinary team will work together with public health officials to assess the distribution and determinants of disease across the landscape and generate innovative solutions to the problems of Chagas disease in the Americas.
The research will initially quantify the spatial and temporal magnitude of the animal disease problem and identify risk factors, which are prerequisites for more applied research to evaluate intervention strategies. Spatial models will be developed to understand the relationships between environmental, climatic, and demographic factors that influence spread and severity of disease. These models could be used in a transformative manner to influence policy with particular consideration paid to cross-border collaboration.
Furthermore, this program will train a cohort of students in disciplines with little history of collaboration (human medicine, veterinary, architecture, and geosciences) to work together to address one of society’s most pressing infectious disease problems.
For more information:
Sarah Hamer, PhD, DVM – Assistant Professor of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences – firstname.lastname@example.org