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Title: Investigation of immunity related genes in a disease host using applied bioinformatics
Author: Ahmed, Ashraf
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 8578
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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The economic burden and the health risks of bovine tuberculosis have led to an ongoing political and scientific debate on the control of the disease in badgers, perceived to be the main carrier, responsible for spreading the infection among cattle. Although culling of badgers has already been introduced in some parts of Britain, its efficacy remains unclear. Moreover, the implementation of alternative strategies, such as vaccination illustrate the need for a deeper understanding of the badger's immune system. In addition, there is also a need to develop additional models and systems for studying the complexity of the immunological response in host organisms: simple organisms, including many flies and beetles are becoming increasingly popular in this respect. The first aim of this thesis is to obtain the nucleotide sequence of the badger transcriptome from peripheral blood cells, and to profile the immunity related genes, through critical evaluation of bioinformatics data extracted from public domain databases. In the second part of the thesis, the introduction of the yellow mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, is developed through initiation of a genome sequencing project. It is hoped that this simple organism will provide insight into immune challenge and support the annotation of immune-related genes from more complex organisms, including the badger as well as providing an accessible model organism that is easy to manipulate in simpler laboratory environment such as schools. The sequencing of both the badger transcriptome from peripheral blood cells and the T. molitor genome generated large data sets. The transcriptome analysis resulted in the identification of 15967 transcripts related to 698 known immunity genes in different mammals. 1825 transcripts were found to match genes involved in tuberculosis pathogenesis. It is believed that, these findings will improve our understanding of future attempts to both prevent and treat bovine tuberculosis. The determination of the T. molitor genome will facilitate and improve its use as a model organism to study infections. The genome data have been deposited and assembly of an annotated genome, although incomplete, is currently best described as 'work in progress'.
Supervisor: Hornby, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available