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One Health is the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain sustainable optimal health for the ecosystem*. It is a cultural and behavioral concept with socioeconomic elements and impact.

*a biological community of living organisms (humans, animals, plants, and microbes) and their physical environment interacting as a system

Mariam Bakshi

Tick Borne Diseases- A One Health Approach

Mariam Bakshi, a Texas A&M University doctoral student in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology attended the International Congress of Entomology 2016 in Orlando, Florida on September 25-30, 2016. Her study reported on mechanisms in which ticks evade host defense reposes to tick parasitism. Mariam was mentored by Dr. Albert Mulenga, Associate Professor in the department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

When describing her research, Mariam said “Ticks are the blood-sucking parasites that are associated with vertebrate illness and death annually. While ticks are second only to mosquitoes as worldwide vectors of human diseases, they are the most relevant vectors of disease causing pathogens in domestic and wild animals.  Estimates of economic losses due to ticks and tick borne diseases in public and animal health are often little more than educated guesses. I developed my PhD dissertation on characterizing tick saliva proteins as a target vaccine candidate. Tick saliva has pharmacological components that modulate the host immune system for long term blood feeding.  These components have role in suppressing the immune system or activate the immune system. Considering their importance in disease transmission, I developed my research proposal on understanding these selected candidates on the immune system. To understand and address the interconnections between tick feeding physiology and how it feeds on the mammalian host to develop a prevention strategy against tick borne disease, a One Health approach is necessary.”

At the conference, Mariam was able to present her poster and meet fellow entomologists to discuss research. Miriam’s research will be beneficial to both the public health and veterinary sector.

Click here to view Mariam's abstract.

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