Protozoan parasites have become of great risk to Canadians, livestock and companion animals. In fact, these parasites have become extremely prevalent in Canada, which represents an enormous impact on productivity (economic losses), animal suffering and human disease. Clinical manifestations linked to protozoan pathogens in animals include, among others, extremely severe diarrhea, limited weight gain and markedly reduced production, as well as high rates of abortion, leading to major economic losses. Additionally, there is an increasing risk of zoonotic transmission due to contact with animals or ingestion of contaminated food or/and water. This is why protozoan pathogens are key pathogen risks according to the Government of Canada.
Consequently, generating innovative and reliable models, knowledge on host-parasite interaction, high-throughput screening drug discovery platforms and developing novel vaccine strategies for protozoal infections align this Research Program with Canada’s priorities. Our research has the potential to yield patent protected technology with significant economic impact on reduction in livestock production losses and human health costs. Moreover, our drug discovery program and vaccine development results would be potentially transposable to human treatments. Better control of parasitic diseases through innovative approaches would make Canada a leader in public health safety and a producer of healthier animals.
CFI John-R.-Evans Leaders Fund (#37324) awarded to CFP