NIH Award Received to Continue Research on Parasitic Disease in Kenya


Posted: Apr 03, 2017 - 10:36am

UNM biologist and CETI Director Eric (Sam) Loker has been awarded a five year renewal of an NIH-funded project entitled "Snail-related studies of transmission and control of schistosomiasis in Kenya." The $2.26M award will enable Loker and UNM colleagues, along with long-standing colleagues at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kenya, to pursue a series of field studies in and around Lake Victoria designed to reveal and exploit some of the biological complexities associated with transmission of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni to people in the area. Prevalence rates of infection in children are as high as 90% in some of the villages studied. Goals of the study are to ascertain the extent to which non-human parasites compete within the snail vector with schistosomes to limit transmission to people, and to explore the potential role of resistance in the vector snails in limiting schistosome transmission to people.