Parasitology Seminar Series
Title: "Lyme borreliosis and the ecology of a multiple-strain tick-borne pathogen"
Speaker: Maarten Voordouw, PhD
Assistant Professor, Veterinary Microbiology
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Date: July 3, 2019
Time: 12-1 pm
132 Hill Pavilion
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
380 S University Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Many pathogen populations consist of genetically distinct strains. Long-term studies have shown that the composition of strains in the pathogen population can be stable over time, even when the strains differ dramatically in fitness. Further complicating this story is that hosts often carry mixed infections, where strains can compete over limited host resources. I use the multi-strain tick-borne bacterial pathogen, Borrelia afzelii, to understand the ecological factors that allow this strain diversity to persist over time.
"My research interests include host-parasite interactions, vector-borne diseases, multiple-strain pathogens and the ecology of mixed infections, Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. As of June 2018, I am an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. To find out more about my current research interests, you can go to my University of Saskatchewan website: https://researchers.usask.ca/maarten-voordouw. From 2011 to 2018, I was an assistant professor in the Institute of Biology at the University of Neuchâtel in Neuchâtel, Switzerland where my research was focussed on the ecology of Lyme disease. To find out about my research at the University of Neuchâtel, you can go to my University of Saskatchewan website: https://researchers.usask.ca/maarten-voordouw.
"From 2009 to 2010, I was a postdoc in the lab of Dr Dustin Brisson at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. During this postdoctoral experience, I did research on the feasibility of vaccinating wild rodents against Lyme disease. The technical challenge was to develop an oral vaccine that could be delivered in food, and that was effective at inducing a protective antibody response. My UPenn postdoc with Dustin Brisson introduced me to the fascinating world of Lyme disease. From 2006 to 2008, I was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr Jacob Koella in Silwood Park, which is part of Imperial College London, near the village of Ascot, England and in the lab of Dr Hillary Hurd at Keele University in the village of Keele, England. During this postdoctoral experience, I did research on the reproductive biology of malaria-resistant and malaria-susceptible strains of mosquitoes, and became interested in vector-borne diseases. From 1999 to 2005, I did my PhD in the lab of Dr Brad Anholt at the University of Victoria in Victoria, Canada. The topic of my PhD thesis was understanding the evolution of the sex ratio using an intertidal copepod as a model system."