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Research projects

Almost all vertebrate species can be infected with helminths producing no damage to severe manifestations that may lead to chronic tissue damage and death.

 

In the last decades, effective helminth prevention campaigns and mass drug administration have decimated the prevalence of parasitic infections in humans. However, companion animals, livestock, and wildlife still hold a great diversity of nematodes, trematodes, or cestodes. From a One Health perspective, all these parasite sources must be studied in other to predict and prevent spillover to humans.

We strongly believe in collaborative efforts among research groups and hold bonds with Israel, Brazil, Italy, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama

Geohelminth burden in vulnerable populations of Costa Rica

Geohelminths are soil-transmitted parasitic nematodes affecting 1.5 billion people in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In Costa Rica, infections with soil-transmitted helminths are common in locations with low socioeconomic development index, mainly crowded households in urban areas, Indigenous communities, and regions bordering Nicaragua and Panama

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Spirocerca lupi and spirocercosis

Spirocerca lupi is a life-threatening parasitic nematode that affects dogs from the tropics and subtropics of the world. Up to 25% of S. lupi- infected animals result in the transformation of inflammatory nodules to esophageal fibrosarcoma or osteosarcoma which commonly lead to metastasis and death of the animal.

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Toxocara canis host-pathogen communications

Toxocara canis is a widespread and zoonotic nematode highly prevalent among dogs around the world. In humans, it causes a severe multi-organic disease known as toxocariasis, characterized by an aberrant larvae migration. No vaccine exists either for dogs or humans, but successful vaccines against other nematodes have targeted secretory antigens thought to mediate immune modulation

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Metazoan parasites of marine species of Costa Rica 

Considering that almost all marine species are infected by helminths, the science of marine parasitology should be enhanced due to the poorly understood aspects of marine biodiversity, ecology, and taxonomy 

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Angiostrongylus costaricensis and abdominal angiostrongiliasis

Angiostrongylus costaricensis causes a parasitic zoonotic disease that especially affects school-aged children in the Americas. Due to the lack of reliable detection methods, diagnosis of this infection is a difficult task compromising this vulnerable population

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