The Work We Do

Renu Nadkarni MPH'15
Eric Nylund MFA'15
Nejc Prah MFA'15
Glorili Alejandro Yale ‘13 

Athletes know the immediate symptoms of a concussion, such as headaches, dizziness and confusion. What they often don’t know about is the continued brain trauma caused by concussions: defects in long-term memory and attention span, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. We created a poster that attempts to visualize a common long-term symptom of concussions — memory loss. As one concussion greatly increases the risk of subsequent concussions, we hope that this poster can prevent premature return-to-play by showing young athletes that concussions not only have immediate effects, but also long-term impact on their future.

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Renu Nadkarni MPH'15 
Eric Nylund MFA'15 
Nejc Prah MFA'15 
Glorili Alejandro Yale ‘13 

Athletes know the immediate symptoms of a concussion, such as headaches, dizziness and confusion. What they often don’t know about is the continued brain trauma caused by concussions: defects in long-term memory and attention span, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. We created a poster that attempts to visualize a common long-term symptom of concussions — memory loss. As one concussion greatly increases the risk of subsequent concussions, we hope that this poster can prevent premature return-to-play by showing young athletes that concussions not only have immediate effects, but also long-term impact on their future.

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Renu Nadkarni MPH'15
Eric Nylund MFA'15
Nejc Prah MFA'15
Glorili Alejandro Yale ‘13 

There is a lot of pressure on young athletes to return to play after an injury. However, chances of suffering a concussion are six times greater in those who have already suffered a concussion compared to those remaining concussion free. Premature return to activity can also lead to death in the event of another brain injury. We created posters “with concussions”, represented by blurry images, the typeface, and jagged shapes. We hope with this series young athletes will better understand the consequences of having a concussion and make more informed decisions about their safety during play.

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Travis Whitfill, MPH ‘14
Jiyoni Kim, MFA ‘15 

Despite recent legislation targeting the industry, indoor tanning remains very popular among young people. We now know that indoor tanning significantly increases risk of basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. The goal of this project is to spread knowledge of the risks of indoor tanning.

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Nicholas Berlin, MPH '14
Yotam Hadar, MFA '15 

Despite our increasingly advanced health care system, medical errors rank among the top ten causes of death in the United States annually. Most often due to systematic issues, medical errors are generally not the result of any one individual. Improved patient-provider communication, as well as simple interventions such as surgical checklists are important solutions. The intention of this poster is to highlight the prevalence and significance of medical errors, as well as to emphasize recommendations of the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to improve communication between providers and patients.

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Nicholas Berlin, MPH '14
Yotam Hadar, MFA '15 

Despite our increasingly advanced health care system, medical errors rank among the top ten causes of death in the United States annually. Most often due to systematic issues, medical errors are generally not the result of any one individual. Improved patient-provider communication, as well as simple interventions such as surgical checklists are important solutions. The intention of this poster is to highlight the prevalence and significance of medical errors, as well as to emphasize recommendations of the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to improve communication between providers and patients.

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Kevin Gandhi, MPH ‘14
Grace Robinson-Leo, MFA ‘14

How many of us are actually honest with our doctors? It can be quite hard. The four posters focus on the unspoken truth about the doctor and patient relationship.

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Kevin Gandhi, MPH ‘14
Grace Robinson-Leo, MFA ‘14 

How many of us are actually honest with our doctors? It can be quite hard. The four posters focus on the unspoken truth about the doctor and patient relationship.

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Kevin Gandhi, MPH ‘14
Grace Robinson-Leo, MFA ‘14 

How many of us are actually honest with our doctors? It can be quite hard. The four posters focus on the unspoken truth about the doctor and patient relationship.

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Kevin Gandhi, MPH ‘14
Grace Robinson-Leo, MFA ‘14 

How many of us are actually honest with our doctors? It can be quite hard. The four posters focus on the unspoken truth about the doctor and patient relationship.

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Kevin Gandhi, MPH ‘14
Grace Robinson-Leo, MFA ‘14 

How many of us are actually honest with our doctors? It can be quite hard. The four posters focus on the unspoken truth about the doctor and patient relationship.

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Bernice Qiaochu Qi, MPH ‘14
 Mariah Xu, Yale ‘16 

One in 5 children in the U.S. experience a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder (MEB) each year. Common MEBs include depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorders. These disorders, if left untreated, can negatively impact affected children even in adulthood. Learning about and recognizing the symptoms early can be instrumental in treatment and recovery. In this series of posters, we provide information on symptoms of common MEBs. If you think your child or a child close to you may be suffering from depression or another MEB disorder, please notify a medical professional.

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Bernice Qiaochu Qi, MPH ‘14
Mariah Xu, Yale ‘16 

One in 5 children in the U.S. experience a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder (MEB) each year. Common MEBs include depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorders. These disorders, if left untreated, can negatively impact affected children even in adulthood. Learning about and recognizing the symptoms early can be instrumental in treatment and recovery. In this series of posters, we provide information on symptoms of common MEBs. If you think your child or a child close to you may be suffering from depression or another MEB disorder, please notify a medical professional.

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Bernice Qiaochu Qi, MPH ‘14 
Mariah Xu, Yale ‘16 

One in 5 children in the U.S. experience a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder (MEB) each year. Common MEBs include depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorders. These disorders, if left untreated, can negatively impact affected children even in adulthood. Learning about and recognizing the symptoms early can be instrumental in treatment and recovery. In this series of posters, we provide information on symptoms of common MEBs. If you think your child or a child close to you may be suffering from depression or another MEB disorder, please notify a medical professional.

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Rongrong Wang, MPH ‘15
Erin Knutson, MFA, ‘15
Tim Ripper, MFA ‘15 

One in 88 children have an identified autism spectrum disorder (CDC). However, many children with autism are not identified until after entering school. Earlier identification can lead to initiation of appropriate treatment/intervention at a younger age. Earlier intervention has a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills and reduce overall cost. Insufficient public health attention has been paid to autism spectrum disorder, which results in the public’s lack of notice about this prevalent disease. This poster aims at increasing the awareness of autism spectrum disorder around the public, especially parents and caregivers.

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Rongrong Wang, MPH ‘15 
Erin Knutson, MFA, ‘15
Tim Ripper, MFA ‘15 

One in 88 children have an identified autism spectrum disorder (CDC). However, many children with autism are not identified until after entering school. Earlier identification can lead to initiation of appropriate treatment/intervention at a younger age. Earlier intervention has a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills and reduce overall cost. Insufficient public health attention has been paid to autism spectrum disorder, which results in the public’s lack of notice about this prevalent disease. This poster aims at increasing the awareness of autism spectrum disorder around the public, especially parents and caregivers.

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Rongrong Wang, MPH ‘15
Erin Knutson, MFA, ‘15
 Tim Ripper, MFA ‘15 

One in 88 children have an identified autism spectrum disorder (CDC). However, many children with autism are not identified until after entering school. Earlier identification can lead to initiation of appropriate treatment/intervention at a younger age. Earlier intervention has a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills and reduce overall cost. Insufficient public health attention has been paid to autism spectrum disorder, which results in the public’s lack of notice about this prevalent disease. This poster aims at increasing the awareness of autism spectrum disorder around the public, especially parents and caregivers.

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Tammie Kwong, MPH ‘14
Sunny Park, MFA ‘14 

Instances of childhood abuse, neglect and household dysfunction can negatively affect future health and wellbeing. These experiences, collectively known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), often lead to increased risks of depression, suicide and other poor health outcomes later on in life. The higher an individual's ACE count, the greater their risk. This series of posters is intended to increase awareness on the issue as well as to encourage the audience to identify their ACE count.

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Tammie Kwong, MPH ‘14 
Sunny Park, MFA ‘14 

Instances of childhood abuse, neglect and household dysfunction can negatively affect future health and wellbeing. These experiences, collectively known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), often lead to increased risks of depression, suicide and other poor health outcomes later on in life. The higher an individual's ACE count, the greater their risk. This series of posters is intended to increase awareness on the issue as well as to encourage the audience to identify their ACE count.

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Tammie Kwong, MPH ‘14
Sunny Park, MFA ‘14 

Instances of childhood abuse, neglect and household dysfunction can negatively affect future health and wellbeing. These experiences, collectively known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), often lead to increased risks of depression, suicide and other poor health outcomes later on in life. The higher an individual's ACE count, the greater their risk. This series of posters is intended to increase awareness on the issue as well as to encourage the audience to identify their ACE count.

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Tammie Kwong, MPH ‘14 
Sunny Park, MFA ‘14 

Instances of childhood abuse, neglect and household dysfunction can negatively affect future health and wellbeing. These experiences, collectively known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), often lead to increased risks of depression, suicide and other poor health outcomes later on in life. The higher an individual's ACE count, the greater their risk. This series of posters is intended to increase awareness on the issue as well as to encourage the audience to identify their ACE count.

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Education, Healthcare, Nutrition

Created by Suckzoo Han and Sang Hee Park

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Those Cookies are to Die For

Created by Jang Hyun Han and Elyor Vidal

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But I Love Soda Too Much

Created by Jang Hyun Han and Elyor Vidal

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I'll Reward Myself with Cake

Created by Jang Hyun Han and Elyor Vidal

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Fast Food is All I Have Time For

Created by Jang Hyun Han and Elyor Vidal

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I'll Start My Diet Monday

Created by Jang Hyun Han and Elyor Vidal

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Brushing Your Teeth is Self-Respect

Created by Marina Kitchen and Abby West

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Taking a Nap is Self-Respect

Created by Marina Kitchen and Abby West

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Staying Hydrated is Self-Respect

Created by Marina Kitchen and Abby West

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Eating Broccoli is Self-Respect

Created by Marina Kitchen and Abby West

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Asking for Help is Self-Respect

Created by Marina Kitchen and Abby West

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Taking a Break is Self-Respect

Created by Marina Kitchen and Abby West

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Food Advertising

Created by Jacqi Lee and Sarah Aspinwall

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Do You Know What Your Child is Eating?

Created by Jacqi Lee and Sarah Aspinwall

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Portion Size

Created by Jacqi Lee and Sarah Aspinwall

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One Health

Created by Jane Long and Eileen Huang

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Breast Cancer Screening

Created by Robert Matthews and Janky Patel

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Deadly Infection

Created by Martha McGill and Danica Kuncio

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Exercise

Created by Rachel Needle and Stephanie Shao

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Exercise

Created by Rachel Needle and Stephanie Shao

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Exercise

Created by Rachel Needle and Stephanie Shao

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Global Health Funding

Created by Grace Robinson-Leo and Nicholas DeVito

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Parenting

Created by Yinan Song and Anna Zonderman

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Lactose Intolerance

Created by Ellen Su and Danielle Correia

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Community-Based Paricipatory Research

Created by Jaime Sunwoo and Dorothy Sheu

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Blindness Prevention

Created by Jessica Svendsen and Adam VanDeusen

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Blindness Prevention

Created by Jessica Svendsen and Adam VanDeusen

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Blindness Prevention

Created by Jessica Svendsen and Adam VanDeusen

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Nutrition - In Spanish

Created by Chris Svensson and Blanca Paccha

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Tick Collection

Maria Diuk-Wasser (second from right) and three research assistants prepare to collect ticks in Mansfield,Conn., as part of an ongoing study of the range of babesiosis and how it is evolving. 

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Tick Collection

Researchers drag corduroy cloths through the dense underbrush to capture ticks. 

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Tick Collection

A precise record is kept of where and when each tick is collected. 

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Tick Collection

GPS information is recorded at each drag site.

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Tick Collection

The drag cloths are inspected closely in order to find ticks that are about the size of a poppy seed.

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Tick Collection

All ticks from each 20 meter section are transported back to the YSPH lab in individual tubes.

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Tick Collection

Specimens are carefully packaged for later analysis.  

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Tick Collection

Maria Diuk-Wasser and research assistants Kayleigh O'Keeffe (left), Alyssa Woronik and Tanner Steeves. 

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Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Sign of the times. The Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating exhibit explores the food challenges of the 21st century, including changing eating habits and alarming levels of obesity in the United States and beyond.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

A corridor of food and beverage shows the items and amounts consumed by an average American in a year, including 170 pounds of meat, 36 pounds of French fries and 33 pounds of cheese. We also drink twice as much soda as milk: 45 gallons compared to 22 gallons!

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Pizza, bread and chips are among the foods that Americans eat in large quantities. The exhibit shows modern eating habits in all of its healthy—and unhealthy—detail.

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Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

The large amounts of sugar associated with various drinks are displayed one spoonful at a time. Soft drinks add significant amounts of sugar to the average diet and contribute to obesity and other chronic conditions. Americans consume some 64 pounds of sugar annually.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Many popular beverages pack a sugary punch, with some having as many as 20 spoonfuls in a single container. The display notes, meanwhile, that water is sugar-free and, oftentimes, free of charge.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

A video game with a message. Ayo Engel-Halfkenny looks on as Jonah Mangold Heiser tests his skill in a game that requires a deft touch—a tightrope walker needs to maintain a healthy balance between calories consumed and calories burned. Failure results in a fall from the rope and into alligator-infested waters.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

And behind this door we have a … Twinkie! Anna Babbin reads the nutritional information and ingredients and then tries to guess what food item lies behind the closed door.

Michael Marsland

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Big Food’s grand opening in February included informational booths and demonstrations by more than a dozen community organizations seeking to promote better eating and lifestyle habits. Here, chef Tagan Engel serves up healthy and delicious snacks to Big Food visitors.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Pablo Cruz (with his mother, Sarah Miller) reacts to a display on the power of food marketing—logos from popular soft drink companies on baby bottles. The display is part of the Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating exhibit at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

French fries or salad? School lunches are vital to promoting better eating habits in young people and while meals are becoming healthier, there is still room for improvement in many districts across the country. The digital display in the background keeps a running tab of the revenue that would be raised with a penny per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Being overweight or obese often results in serious health consequences, including hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, which can reduce productivity and lead to an early death. Sarah Conley grimaces as she handles the equivalent of five pounds of human fat while her sister, Gloria, looks on.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Naszir Johnson ponders the significant damage that unhealthy eating and excessive weight can cause to the internal organs.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

A can of Red Bull, a bag of chips and a remote control are among the items in this model of a typical teenager’s bedroom. Diet and a sedentary lifestyle are increasingly taking a toll on the health of children and adolescents, problems that often accelerate and worsen in adulthood. The screens roll with reasons to “log out” and “unplug.”

Michael Marsland

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Portion sizes have increased dramatically and, as a result, so have the calories people consume. Today, more than one in three Americans is considered obese.

Michael Marsland

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Second thoughts? Ihsan Abdussabur studies an exhibit that shows that a medium-sized container of movie popcorn has the same number of calories as four hamburgers and 12 pats of butter.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Field to fillet: It takes a 70-square-foot patch of corn to produce the 14 pounds of animal feed that is needed to produce one steak. Meat production is a major contributor to air and water pollution and other environmental problems.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

The Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) is working is New Haven’s schools and neighborhoods to reverse alarming trends of chronic diseases in the Elm City. Based at the Yale School of Public Health, CARE's ultimate goal is a healthier New Haven. Teresa Smith Hines (behind the table) and Anna Zonderman (looking on) assist victors.

Harold Shapiro

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Upon leaving the exhibit, visitors are challenged to commit to changes that will result in a healthier lifestyle for themselves, their family and their community. Among the options are eating meals together as a family, foregoing meat on Mondays and walking/bicycling together as a family. Counts and online voting will soon be available on CARE’s website.

Denise Meyer

Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating

Marlene Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale; Jane Pickering, deputy director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History; and Jeannette Ickovics, professor at the Yale School of Public Health and director of Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, are among the exhibit’s curators.

Michael Marsland

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Big Food is on display at the Peabody Museum through December 2, 2012.

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HAT/Sleeping Sickness

Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) and Nagana (the animal form of the disease) occur throughout the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. HAT is lethal if undetected and/or untreated. The disease is primarily found in poor, rural and remote populations. The early stages of disease cause headaches, fever, weakness, sweating, joint pain and stiffness. The advanced stages of disease result in psychiatric disorders, seizures, coma and death. Detection of the advanced form of the disease requires examination of cerebrospinal fluid obtained by spinal tap. Treatment of advanced HAT is performed with drugs developed in the early twentieth century. These drugs are very painful and carry a significant risk of death due to side effects. Nagana has a tremendous economic cost and prevents the development of livestock agriculture in affected areas.

Geoffrey Attardo

HAT/Sleeping Sickness

HAT and Nagana are vectored by the Tsetse fly (Glossina sp.). Tsetse flies are obligate blood feeders. Both males and females blood feed from vertebrate hosts and are capable of acting as vectors. Tsetse has a unique reproductive biology in that they give birth to fully developed larvae. Pregnant females develop a single offspring at a time and provide all of its nourishment via an intrauterine lactation system.

Geoffrey Attardo

HAT/Sleeping Sickness

Trypanosomes are the pathogenic agents that cause HAT. They are single celled eukaryotic organisms. The human form of the disease is caused by two different trypanosome species. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense is responsible for HAT within the countries of West Africa and results in a chronic version of the disease which can take months to years to progress. Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense is responsible for HAT in East Africa and causes an acute form of the disease. The animal form of the disease (Nagana) is caused by Trypanosoma brucei brucei.

Geoffrey Attardo

The transmission cycle of HAT

The trypanosomes are transmitted to humans and livestock through the bite of an infected tsetse fly. Flies inject metacyclic trypomastigotes into a vertebrate host where they enter the blood and transform into bloodstream trypomastigotes. The bloodstream trypomastigotes multiply within bodily fluids (blood, lymph and spinal fluid). Bloodstream trypomastigotes can be taken up by tsetse flies that bite and infected host. Once in the fly the bloodstream trypomastigotes transform into procyclic trypomastigotes. Procyclic trypomastigotes are a sexual form of the organism and multiply by binary fission. The procyclic trypomastigotes then migrate out of the blood meal and back up the digestive tract to the salivary glands where they become epimastigotes. The epimastigotes establish themselves and reproduce in the salivary glands. They then transform into metacyclic trypomastigotes which are injected when the fly bites a vertebrate host.

Geoffrey Attardo

Tsetse Trap

Vector population control is an effective strategy to disrupt HAT transmission. The low reproductive rate of tsetse results in low population numbers. Populations can be disrupted through trapping (as seen in the picture) and pesticide treatment of livestock. Tsetse traps are made with blue cloth which attracts the flies. Once in the trap the flies are either poisoned with pesticides or funneled into a collection chamber from which they cannot escape. Trapping and treatment programs require consistent effort and organization to be effective.

Geoffrey Attardo

Ttsetse reproductive physiology

Tsetse fly physiology is very different from that of other flies. The most dramatic changes have occurred in tissues associated with reproduction. The oviduct which is used to deposit eggs in other flies has been adapted into a uterus capable of supporting a fully developed third instar larva. The larva is nourished by secretions from an accessory gland called the milk gland. The milk gland is a series of large bifurcating tubes which synthesize protein and incorporate fat to produce milk secretions. The milk nourishes the larva throughout the entirety of its development and is the only food the larva takes. The ovaries of tsetse are significantly reduced in comparison with other flies. Tsetse only generates a single egg at a time. In comparison, flies like mosquitoes can produce over one hundred eggs at a time during a reproductive cycle. Egg development alternates between the right and left ovaries from one reproductive cycle to the next.

Geoffrey Attardo

Lifecycle

The tsetse reproductive cycle begins with egg development, ovulation and fertilization. Sperm used for fertilization is stored in an organ called the spermathica which preserves sperm from a single mating for the entire lifespan of the fly. Embryonic flies develop within ~5 days and hatch within the uterus. The larva then lives within the uterus and develops through 3 larval instars. Intrauterine larval development takes ~5-6 days. At the end of the 3rd larval instar the female undergoes parturition (gives birth to the larva). The larval fly will burrow into the ground and pupate within 30 minutes of deposition. The pupa will develop for 3-4 weeks after which the adult fly will emerge.

Geoffrey Attardo

Microbial partners of tsetse

Tsetse flies harbor three bacterial symbionts, Wigglesworthia, Sodalis and Wolbachia which contribute to the flies health, fertility and immunity. Wigglesworthia live in two populations within the fly. In the gut Wigglesworthia is found in an intracellular form in a tissue called the bacteriome. This population assists tsetse in metabolizing and supplementing the rich yet nutritionally limited diet of vertebrate blood. Elimination of these bacteria by antibiotic treatment results in flies that do not digest meals properly and become infertile. The exact contribution that these bacteria make remains unidentified. The second Wigglesworthia population lives in the extracellular lumen of the milk gland tubules. This population is transmitted from mother to intrauterine offspring within the milk secretions. Sodalis can be found throughout the tissues of the fly in both intracellular and extracellular situations. The presence of Sodalis is not yet associated with concrete benefits to the fly; however it may be associated with immune function and priming immunity during development. Sodalis is also passed from mother to offspring via the milk secretions. Wolbachia are found within the ovaries associated with developing eggs. These bacteria are found in the reproductive tract of many insects and are known to influence host reproductive outcomes by affecting male/female offspring ratios and by causing a phenomenon known as cytoplasmic incompatibility. Cytoplasmic incompatibility influences reproduction in such a way that matings between Wolbachia infected males and uninfected females results in infertility. Mating between infected females and uninfected males result in successful fertility and the production of Wolbachia infected offspring. These dynamics result in the bacteria being driven into the population. This mechanism is being considered as a way to drive beneficial characteristics (such as trypanosome resistance) into wild populations using lab developed bacterial strains.

Geoffrey Attardo

Immune function

Tsetse immune function is a complex system which facilitates the existence of the bacterial symbionts and actively fights against pathogenic infection. An important player in immune regulation in tsetse is a protein called PGRP-LB (Peptidoglycan recognition protein B). This protein functions as a buffer for the immune system. PGRP-LB binds the cell wall components of pathogens and degrades them. This prevents activation of antimicrobial gene expression when normal levels of symbiotic bacteria are present. Antimicrobial gene activation results from activation of the PGRP-LC protein which also binds pathogen cell wall components. However, upon binding, the PGRP-LC receptor protein signals to activate production of antimicrobial proteins.

Geoffrey Attardo

Immunity

When the fly is immune challenged by a pathogen (such as a trypanosome). The PGRP-B system is saturated resulting in the binding of pathogen cell wall molecules to the PGRP-C. This results in the upregulation of antimicrobial genes and synthesis of their respective proteins. These proteins are then secreted throughout the fly to assist in killing invading organisms. Tsetse flies have a natural resistance to trypanosome infection with only a small portion of flies becoming infected when challenged. Without this system much higher numbers of flies would be infective in the wild.

Geoffrey Attardo

Symbiont-Pathogen-Host Relationship

This system is dynamic and complex with multiple interactions occurring between the fly, the symbionts and invading parasites. Our aim is to understand the interactions between the various aspects of this system such that this knowledge can be applied to novel control measures to prevent HAT transmission.

Geoffrey Attardo

Paratransgenesis

One strategy towards HAT control aims to modify the Sodalis symbiont with a recombinant anti-trypanosome gene to boost the fly’s natural immune system. This strategy is termed Paratransgenesis, the indirect modification of an organism by alteration of its symbionts. The bacteria are cultured outside of the fly and transformed with DNA coding for an antitrypanosomal gene. These bacteria are then reintroduced into the fly to generate a line of highly resistant flies. Through the use of gene drive mechanisms such as cytoplasmic incompatibility this trait can then be pushed into natural populations to reduce or eliminate trypanosome infected flies.

Geoffrey Attardo