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Dr. Ray Kaplan is a professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases at University of Georgia. He joins the show to discuss the details of his research on parasitism and drug-resistant parasites.

Tune in to discover:

  • How a dog contracts heartworm disease and how the disease progresses
  • How a hookworm infection in a dog progresses differently than it does in a human, and what type of research is being done in Kaplan’s lab to study drug-resistance in hookworms in dogs
  • Why it has been difficult to tackle the problem of drug resistance in parasites, and where the research currently stands

Dr. Kaplan’s interest in parasites was sparked after he found himself working in a parasitology lab as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech. He continued conducting research on parasitology while in veterinary school, and eventually entered academia to become a professor and focus more exclusively on his research. He studies primarily parasites of livestock and dogs, and aims to better understand and solve the problems posed by increasing numbers of drug-resistant parasites.

Dr. Kaplan discusses the life cycle of common parasites in dogs, what happens when a human being is infected by hookworms, the coevolution of the gut microbiome and intestinal worms, evidence which suggests that some parasites may be critical to the human immune response and protection against autoimmune diseases, what mechanisms are used by parasites that enable them to complete their life cycles, challenges and roadblocks to progress in parasitology, drug resistance of roundworms infecting turkeys, and so much more.

For information on these and related topics, check out the following:

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