Head of Division Biochemistry
Office: 3-34 Agriculture Building
E-mail: anabella.gaspar [at] up.ac.za
Research group: Molecular Parasitology Laboratory (Tick Group)
Ticks as a source of novel therapeutics (co-investigator): To facilitate blood feeding, ticks secrete a complex mixture of bioactive substances in their saliva. Several anticoagulants and platelet aggregation inhibitors have been characterized and cloned. Structural and functional information obtained from these investigations will contribute to the design of improved anti-thrombotic drugs.
Anti-tick vaccines (co-investigator): Ticks are amongst the most important vectors of animal and human disease. One approach to tick control is based on the immunization of hosts with tick proteins that are essential for tick survival. Potential vaccine candidates have been identified and their recombinant expression is in progress. The next phase involves the evaluation of vaccine candidate antigens.
Tick innate immunity (principal investigator): The primary focus of this research program is to identify proteins/peptides in the hemolymph of ticks induced by immune challenge using a proteomics/peptidomics approach. This research will not only lead to the discovery of novel antimicrobial peptides, but to the identification of additional vaccine candidates.
BCM 252: Carbohydrate metabolism
BCM 261: Lipid metabolism
BCM 262: Biochemistry in Perspective (Introductory Immunology, Hormones and their action and Integration of Metabolism)
BCM 772: Biochemical Research Methodology (Proteomics)
- EHEBAUER, MT, MANS, BJ, GASPAR, ARM & NEITZ, AWH. (2002). Identification of extrinsic blood coagulation pathway inhibitors from the tick Ornithodoros savignyi (Acari: Argasidae). Experimental Parasitology, 101, 138-148.
- MANS, B.J., COETZEE, J., LOUW, A.I., GASPAR, A.R.M. & NEITZ, A.W.H. (2000). Disaggregation of aggregated platelets by apyrase from the tick, Ornithodoros savignyi (Acari: Argasidae). Experimental & Applied Acarology, 24, 271-282.