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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Research Project #422190


Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-32000-095-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 16, 2011
End Date: Oct 10, 2016

Objective 1: Determine parasite distribution based on climate change based on the geographic information systems, comprehensive data, and specimens contained in the U.S. National Parasite Collection. Sub-Objective 1.1: Determine and summarize contemporary parasite distribution based on comprehensive georeferenced data and specimens contained in the U.S. National Parasite Collection and resources in the literature. Sub-Objective 1.2: Apply GIS-based methods to develop baselines for parasite distribution linked to point occurrence data for helminths in domestic and free-ranging ruminants. Sub-Objective 1.3: Use protocols from Species Distribution Models (SDMs) to explore outcomes of climate change for distributions of complex host-parasite assemblages, emphasizing ruminants. Objective 2: Determine the helminth faunal diversity among domestic and free ranging ungulates and other vertebrates to understand and predict responses to environmental changes at the host-parasite interface in managed and natural environments. Sub Objective 2.1: Develop synoptic and annotated checklists. Sub-Objective 2.2: Develop synoptic keys for identification of ruminant parasites including digital imaging for parasite species occurring in North America. Sub-Objective 2.3: Summarize current knowledge for biodiversity of ruminant helminth systems (species occurrences, distribution, phylogeny and historical processes).

The USNPC will initiate a long-term transition from a specimens-based repository to an integrated facility for biodiversity informatics. Emphasis will be on development/validation of the collections database ( with a focus on records for parasites from ruminants. Digitized databases provide immediate accessibility for detailed biodiversity information to both ARS and a broader global research community on parasites that threaten animal health, food security, and food safety. Evolution of the USNPC will require new methods and approaches driving a transformation to a primary informatics facility. - Develop model archives (museum records and specimen-based collections) linking comprehensive and annotated lists for host-parasite-pathogen systems and spatial information linked to GIS to explore biotic and abiotic determinants of selected host-parasite systems. Archival information and resources are then integrated with historical information contributing directly to completion of Objective 2. - Build collections through continued strategic survey and inventory (geographically extensive and site intensive sampling) to support integrated morphological and molecular research. - Frozen tissue collections for molecular-based research with definitively identified and validated voucher specimens. - Specimen collections, with definitively identified and validated voucher specimens, linked directly to frozen tissues. - Build collections through continued deposition of types and vouchers from a dispersed and global research community. - Curate holdings of orphaned collections/accession in USNPC. The primary focus will be on continued development and expansion of the Collection and the array of services available to the research community. The United States National Parasite Collection will remain the primary repository for North America and much of the global community.