- Assistant Professor, Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
The primary goal of my research laboratory is to develop a vaccine to protect against Lyme disease in both humans and companion animals. In addition, we have interest in understanding the host use ecology and population genetics of I. scapularis feeding from different mammalian hosts, as well as the population genetics of the spirochetal pathogen B. burgdorferi associated with the natural reservoir as well as infected companion animals. We are studying the distribution of the bacterial zoonotic pathogens in ticks and small mammals in the state of Texas, with a special emphasis in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region. Throughout these studies we have started the study of Bovine babesiosis due to its presence in the transboundary region we study. Thus, we have initiated a collaboration with the Cattle Fever Tick Reserch Laboratory (CFTRL) to genotype Babesia isolates from Mexico and Puerto Rico. Our laboratory is equipped with the required machinery for the advancement of some of the specific aims outlined in this proposal. Moreover, my laboratory has an extensive collection of Babesia isolates, and the institutional permit to work with Babesia cultures, which will be of great value during the development of this project.
Finally, through the study of Tick-borne Diseases (TBDs) in wildlife and ticks, we have developed novel molecular diagnostic tools. In particular we have developed the TickPath LayerPlex technology for the detection of 11 tick borne pathogens, and is curretly offered bu the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic laboratory. Furthermore, our team is currently working in the development of PiroPlex, a quantitative, multiplex, realtime PCR technology to detect hemoparasites of interest in cattle and equine production.
Within this framework, projects are designed to accommodate students seeking a graduate degree, as well as undergraduate students.
- Yu, S., Modarelli, J., Tomecek, J. M., French, J. T., Hilton, C., & Esteve-Gasent, M. D. (2020). Prevalence of common tick-borne pathogens in white-tailed deer and coyotes in south Texas. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR PARASITOLOGY-PARASITES AND WILDLIFE. 11, 129-135.
- Modarelli, J. J., Westrich, B. J., Milholland, M., Tietjen, M., Castro-Arellano, I., Medina, R. F., & Esteve-Gasent, M. D. (2020). Prevalence of protozoan parasites in small and medium mammals in Texas, USA. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR PARASITOLOGY-PARASITES AND WILDLIFE. 11, 229-234.
- El-Dakhly, K. M., Arafa, W. M., Soliman, S., Abdel-Fatah, O. R., Wahba, A. A., Esteve-Gasent, M. D., & Holman, P. J. (2020). Molecular Detection, Phylogenetic Analysis, and Genetic Diversity of Theileria annulata, Babesia bigemina, and Anaplasma marginale in Cattle in Three Districts of Egypt. Acta Parasitologica.
- Ojeda-Chi, M. M., Rodriguez-Vivas, R. I., Esteve-Gasent, M. D., Perez de Leon, A. A., Modarelli, J. J., & Villegas-Perez, S. L. (2019). Ehrlichia canis in dogs of Mexico: Prevalence, incidence, co-infection and factors associated. Comparative Immunology Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 67, 101351-101351.
- Sanseverino, L., Ortêncio Filho, H., Esteve-Gassent, M., & Jorge, T. (2019). Test for Borrelia spp. in bats in an urban area in the South of Brazil.. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 52, e20190234.
- Small, C. M., Mwangi, W., & Esteve-Gassent, M. D. (2016). Anti-Lyme Subunit Vaccines: Design and Development of Peptide-Based Vaccine Candidates.. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). Methods in Molecular Biology. (pp. 471-486). Springer New York.
- Modarelli II, Joseph James (2018-12). Novel Molecular Strategies for the Detection and Characterization of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Domestic Dogs. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Alhaboubi, Amer Rasoolfadhl (2018-08). In Vitro Growth and Molecular Characterization of Vector-Borne Intraerythrocytic Parasites of Domestic Animals and Wildlife. (Doctoral Dissertation)