Dr. C. E. Bennett: Group Research Aims                        Back to 'Ecto and Endo parasites'

Animal Free Mission Statement

The broad aim of this research group is to conduct animal free research to find ways of improving diagnosis and control of protozoan, digenean, nematode and arthropod parasites. These include all parasites of man and farmed and domestic animals. Collaboration is established with a number of medical and veterinary companies for the detection of parasites and investigation of drug sensitivity and drug resistance. Methods focus on free living, in-vitro cultured, and cellular extracts of parasites. This inter-disciplinary work falls into three main areas spanning the divisions of the School:

Area 1. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology (See below).

Area 2. Cell Science of endo-parasite  (See below).

Area 3. Biodiversity and Ecology of parasites  (See below).


Area 1. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology : research:

  1. Investigation of stage and strain specific genes of parasites and pathogens
  2. in particular of liver flukes (Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica), funded by the

    British Technology Group. The work involves collaboration with two Medical

    Parasitology Departments in Egyptian Universities.

  3. Diagnosis and control of  Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD).

     Approaches include production and investigation of libraries and gene sequences and the use of spliced leader sequences.

    c.     Molecular Biological approaches to Proliferative Kidney Disease


Area 2. Cell Science of endo-parasites: research

  1. Control of the major farmed trout disease in the U.K.: PKD requires investigation for
  2. the development of new drugs as there are none currently available. In-vitro culture of

    PK'X' cells is an important objective for drug screening and vaccine development.

  3. Investigation of in-vitro transformation of F.hepatica miracida to sporocyst involving



Area 3. Biodiversity and Ecology of parasites

a.     A novel parasite egg detection centrifuge tube, 'Parasep' developed in our laboratories, is now marketed by Intersep          Ltd. We continue to be involved with the further development of protocols for international medical and veterinary use of          this product. One method: to be reported at the 2nd European Congress of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool 1998 is the use          of 'Parasep' in detecting nematode and protozoan parasite eggs in waste-water re-used for agriculture. The 'Parasep'           method compares favourably with the WHO recommended 'Baillenger' method.

b.     Biodiversity studies have included parasite epizootiology of wild trout in Hampshire rivers and parasitology of New Forest           ponies.

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Dr Clive Bennett E-mail: parasite@soton.ac.uk

Dr. Clive Bennett 1998