University of California, Irvine, Department of Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Dr. Jerry E. Manning

(Ph.D., University of Utah, 1971)

Major surface proteins and their genes in Trypanosoma cruzi

  • Faculty Profile

    Publications via PubMed (NIH National Library of Medicine)

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  • Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasitic hemo-flagellate, is the causative agent of Chagas disease. This disease constitutes a major health hazard to humans in South and Central America. Thus far, no successful chemotherapeutic cure or immunological prevention has been developed. Since both humans and animals can develop acquired resistance to acute infections of Trypanosoma cruzi, an effective immunophrophylaxis for controlling this parasite should be practical with adequate knowledge. This will include an understanding of the anti-parasite immune responses and a clear distinction between those parasite antigens which do and do not provide immunity. Accordingly, a major emphasis of our research is to identify relevant antigens and to develop methods for acquiring these antigens in sufficient amounts to test their vaccination properties.

    Our laboratory has identified two parasite antigens which provide protective immunity to mice against an otherwise lethal challenge by Trypanosoma cruzi. The genes which encode these antigens have been cloned, and these proteins have been expressed in both eucaryotic and procaryotic systems in amounts sufficient for immunological testing.

    We are currently mapping the relevant T cell epitopes that illicit the protective responses, and studies to determine the immunological basis for protection are in progress. Future studies will include the development of new multiple antigen presenting systems using the selected T cell epitopes. Studies to define both CD8+ cytolytic epitopes and CD4+ helper cell epitopes in specific Trypanosoma cruzi antigens are also in progress.

    Dr. Manning is part of the UCI Graduate Track in Immunology and Pathogenesis within the UCI graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry. Applications requests or additional information about the graduate program may be obtained by electronic mail at or by phone at (949) 824-8145. On-line applications may also be submitted through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

    1) Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry

    2) Email: or call (949) 824-8145

    3) Graduate Studies Home Page, with links to On-line applications and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies

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