Trophozoite killing assays for Tritrichomonas foetus parasites
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The Symposium provides undergraduates from all academic disciplines with an opportunity to share their research with the university community and other guests through conference-style oral presentations. The Symposium represents part of a larger effort of Iowa State University to enhance, support, and celebrate undergraduate research activity.
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The first Symposium was held in April 2007. The 39 students who presented research and their mentors collectively represented all of ISU's Colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Design, Engineering, Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate College. The event has grown to regularly include more than 100 students presenting on topics that span the broad range of disciplines studied at ISU.
Tritrichomonas foetus is a sexually-transmitted protozoan parasite infecting cattle throughout the world. In cows, infection results in early embryonic death and abortion. Current control methods rely on culling infected animals and there is no curative treatment. We obtained a field strain of the parasite from an Iowa bull and isolated it in axenic culture. We then developed a trophozoite killing assay suitable for identifying compounds with anti-parasite activity. Current and future studies involve screening of antimicrobial agents and identification of lead compounds for future in vivo studies.