Postdoctoral Studies: Vanderbilt University
Ph.D. - University of Iowa
It is only within the last 25 years that intensive research has been carried out to elucidate the cellular and humoral immune mechanisms which are activated in these diseases. Most of the research carried out in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience has attempted to correlate immune responses with the cellular inflammatory responses that are elicited in infected animals. Because the helminths are metazoan organisms, it seems highly unlikely that the host immune response will be completely successful in controlling these pathogens. However, if the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are activated during infection can be understood, it is possible that the most damaging aspects of the histopathological responses can be down-regulated or ameliorated. The major focus of the laboratory for the last five years has been to understand the function of cytokines (chemical mediators) produced by one subset of lymphocytes known as type-2 T helper cells. These studies have shown that while these cytokines are responsible for the elevated levels of eosinophils (a rare type of white blood cells which becomes the hallmark of tissue invasive parasites) and IgE class of antibodies, these cells and antibodies may not correlate with resistance to infection. By understanding the host immune responses that wax and wane during the course of infection it becomes feasible to vaccinate animals in such a way as to choose only those immune functions that are advantageous. The laboratory has recently begun to use our understanding of host responses to parasitic infection to begin to analyze the immunity induced following vaccination of naive animals with DNA encoding selected gene products of the parasite. Naked DNA vaccination offers great promise for the future of tropical disease prevention, and in fact, all of infectious disease prevention, because of the ease of production and great purity that can be obtained owing to the power of DNA cloning.
Kayes, S. G., Eastman, S., Griffin, J., Floyd, C., McKinnley, J., and W., Wilson-Little, F. 2002. Immuno-inflammatory cytokines in patients with sickle cell disease and who are seropositive for the canine roundworm, Toxocara canis. (In prep).
Kayes, S. G., Eastman, S., Sindel, L. W., Wilson-Little, F. 2001. Seroprevalence of Toxocara canis in asthmatics and patients with sickle cell disease. (In prep).
Kayes, S. G. 1997. Human toxocariasis and the visceral larva migrans syndrome: Correlative immunopathology. In: Immunopathogenetic Aspects of Disease Induced by Helminth Parasites. D. O. Freedman, Ed.; Karger, Basel. Chem. Immunol. 66:99-124.
S. G. Kayes, R. C. Shaneyfelt, C. Monteiro, and J. J. O'Brien. 1997. Overproduction of Sm28GST in a baculovirus expression vector and its use to evaluate the in vivo immune responses of mice vaccinated against Schistosoma mansoni with naked DNA encoding the Sm28GST gene. J. Parasitol. 84:764-770.
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