Hopland Research and Extension Center
University of California
Hopland Research and Extension Center

Spotlight on Research: Lizard Malaria

Join lizard wrangler Dr. Anne Vardo-Zalik for a journey into the world of the malarial parasite. Learn how research conducted on blue bellied lizards at Hopland can help inform decisions to protect humans from malaria in other parts of the world.

Malaria parasites infect a broad range of vertebrate hosts, including mammals (four species infect humans), birds, and reptiles. Since 1978, studies of Plasmodium mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis have greatly advanced the understanding of these parasites. An overall goal is to understand the ecology and evolution of the life history of the parasite, which can serve as a model for the evolution of parasite virulence. Current questions under investigation include: Do infected lizards have different white blood cell profiles than non-infected lizards? Are certain parasite genotypes transmitted more readily than others by the intermediate hosts, two species of sand flies?  One species of sand fly is much more common than the other at Hopland, but does the species composition change over time?

Take a look at our short film "Beautiful Malaria" to get a taste of this project and then come meet Dr. Vardo Zalik in person.

Your $5 registration fee enables further outreach and education events at Hopland REC into the future!

Date: June 15, 2016

Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Contact: Hannah Bird (707) 744 1424 ext 105 hbird@ucanr.edu

LocationHopland Research and Extension Center

Register online here: http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=18175

 

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 4:12 PM
Tags: malaria (1), parasite (1), public health (1)

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