Day 2 :
Murdoch University, Australia
Prof. Ryan is an expert in the molecular detection and characterization of bacterial and protozoan parasites and to date has described more than 17 new protozoan parasites and five new bacterial species. She has 249 publications, including 1 book, 16 book chapters, 208 research papers in international journals, and 24 invited reviews
Statement of the Problem: In Australia, a conclusive aetiology of Lyme disease-like illness in human patients remains elusive, despite growing numbers of people presenting with symptoms attributed to tick bites. This undetermined disease usually presents as acute flu-like symptoms including headache, fever, and fatigue that can persist for weeks to months, and may develop into a severe chronic illness that can include, but is not limited to, myalgia, arthralgia, chronic migraine, and a systemic inflammatory syndrome. Despite this, little has been documented about microorganisms harboured within Australian native ticks or their pathogenic potential. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Universal PCR primers were used to amplify the V1-2 hyper-variable region of bacterial 16S rRNA genes in DNA samples from human-biting ticks and ticks from wildlife. The 16S amplicons were sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq platform and analysed in USEARCH, QIIME, and BLAST to assign genus and species-level taxonomies. Nested PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to confirm the NGS data and further analyse novel findings. Findings: NGS of 16S rDNA amplicons has identified five novel bacterial species in ticks including; an Anaplasma sp., an Ehrlichia sp., two ‘Ca. Neoehrlichia’ species, and a novel Borrelia species, which is divergent from B. burgdorferi s.l and Relapsing Fever (Fig. 1). Conclusion & Significance: Determining whether these newly discovered organisms cause disease in humans and animals, like closely related bacteria do abroad, is of public health importance and requires further investigation.
Texas Tech University, USA
Dr. Kendall is Head of the Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory and Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University. He is founding Director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH), a joint venture between Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Lubbock, Texas. He was also the founding Department Chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech. He received his B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina, M.S. degree from Clemson University, and Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He received a United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) post-doctoral traineeship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Kendall served on USEPA’s FIFRA Science Advisory Panel from June 1995 to December 2002, and was appointed Chairman January 1999 to December 2002. He also served as a member of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee, USEPA. He is the previous president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and serves as Editor – Terrestrial Toxicology of the scientific journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He has received numerous awards, addressed the United Nations Committee on Sustainable Development, and has consulted with many foreign countries on environmental issues. Dr. Kendall was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1991. He is also the recipient of a 2013 Texas Environmental Excellence Award given through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Most recently, he has been invited to be an Editor for the journal Archives of Parasitology. He has published extensively, including over 200 publications and technical articles in wildlife toxicology and parasitology, and his latest book, “Wildlife Toxicology: Emerging Contaminant and Biodiversity Issues”, has been very successful. Since arriving at Texas Tech in 1997, he has received millions of dollars of research support from local, state, and federal sponsors, as well as private industries, and continues to maintain an active and well-funded research program.
An extremely important gamebird in Texas is the Northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) and one of the last major locations left in the United States that supports huntable wild quail populations is the Rolling Plains ecoregion. Although wild quail have generally declined over the last several decades in the Rolling Plains, upticks in population numbers are usually followed by serious population crashes. The last quail population crash occurred in 2010, which set the stage for a large interdisciplinary research program to consider, in addition to habitat ad rainfall issues, investigation of environmental contaminants, disease, and parasites. The Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory at Texas Tech University has documented extensive parasitic infection in wild quail throughout the Rolling Plains with both the eyeworm (Oxyspirura petrowi) and cecal worm (Aulonocephalus pennula). Based on environmental conditions, parasitic infections can spread quickly at the landscape level infecting a large percentage of the wild quail that may utilize such zones for habitat. We now have information to document pathology and other impacts of parasitic infections in wild quail. This talk will discuss the research program that led to the discovery of widespread and cyclic parasitic infections in wild Northern bobwhite quail and the consequences of this infection to quail. In addition, the talk will discuss strategies in going forward that might address a remedy in order that wild and huntable quail populations can be sustained into the future.