- Characterization of parasite biodiversity in mammalian livestock (cattle, sheep, goat, pig etc.) and other food animals in NER of India by integration of comparative genomics and molecular systematics: for identification and classification of parasites to define geographic distribution, genetic variability, if any, among the different geographical isolates and host associations and to recognize the impact of cryptic, emergent, exotic and invasive pathogens.
- The parasite primary specimens, host information, and spatial and temporal data can be archived and databased in the proposed project with results of analyses, diagnostic capacity, images, etc., with synoptic summaries for parasite and host associations. These archives can form the basis for educational materials to the end users and researchers.
- Database development on health-based issues pertaining to those of parasite origin (eg. helminthic infections) and specific to North-East India would provide definitive information about the prevalence and eradicatory measures related to food-borne trematode and other helminthic infections (namely, Trematode: Paragonimus (lung fluke), Fasciola and other liver flukes, Fasciolopsis and other gastro-intestinal flukes; Cestode: Taenia & its bladderworm; Nematode: Ascaris, hookworm, filarial worm). Most of these infections are zoonotic in nature (i.e. transferable between animals and man).
- Parasite genomics research will help identify species-specific molecular markers; diagnostic probes as the basis for a predictive framework to understand patterns of parasite distribution and the potential for emergence and disease.
- Post-genomic strategies will aid in genetic manipulation of the parasite and the intermediate host to create either attenuated strains or intermediate hosts refractory to parasite invasion for better therapeutic benefits.
- As the helminth parasites can infect almost all mammalian species and can at times lead to fatal end of their host, the proposed bioinformatics focus on parasite genomics will help by addressing the following:
- Prevalence status of paragonimiasis and other helminthic infections in NE region of India.
- Polymorphic surveys focusing on the population biology and strain movements informing epidemiological studies.
- Comparisons with the species prevalent in the Near/Far-eastern Asian regions because of a faunal overlap and sharing of the apparently similar biological entities.
- The intermediate hosts (eg. molluscan and crustacean) implicated in transmission of the disease to human population.
The outcome of the project work will, in turn, in the form of a collated compendium of information will enable the stakeholders and policy makers to introspect on the need for social upliftment in rural areas of Northeast India.