Grants awarded

The role of small RNA pathways in regulating aspects of the parasitic lifestyle and host environment by Strongyloides nematodes

Grantholder:

Dr Vicky Hunt

University of Bath

United Kingdom

Parasitic worms infect one third of the global population, causing a substantial disease burden. These worms are controlled by anthelmintic drugs but resistance is becoming increasingly widespread. Parasitic worms, like other animals, use small RNAs to regulate gene expression. I will investigate the role of small RNAs in Strongyloides worms, which infect the gut of humans and other animals. Small RNAs may regulate either the worm’s own genes or can be secreted into the host to regulate host genes.

I will use experimental and computational approaches to identify the small RNAs used by Strongyloides worms, and the worm and host genes that they regulate during an infection.

This work will elucidate the role of small RNAs in a parasite which will inform future developments of new treatment and control methods for parasitic worm infections.