Catalina Esther Avendaño Valenzuela

GRUPOS DE INVESTIGACIÓN: CIENCIA ANIMAL

LÍNEAS DE INVESTIGACIÓN:   Salud Animal – Enfermedades Infecciosas y parasitarias – Zoonosis - Vacunas

FACULTAD:  Ciencias Agropecuarias

CATEGORÍA COLCIENCIAS:    Junior

NIVEL DE FORMACIÓN: Doctorado

Profesional de Microbiología Agrícola y Veterinaria, con especialización en Sanidad Animal y Doctor por la Universidad de Zaragoza en Medicina y Sanidad Animal. Con experiencia y habilidades en la docencia de microbiología, inmunología y diagnóstico en el laboratorio clínico; y con experiencia en investigación de parasitología, inmunología y biología molecular. Con capacidades para el manejo de grupos, trabajo interprofesional en equipo a nivel nacional e internacional. En el área de extensión y divulgación con capacidades para estructurar y presentar conferencias de carácter técnico y científico en las áreas mencionadas. Con dominio de lectura, escritura e interpretación de información científica en inglés.

PRODUCTOS DESTACADOS

Preliminary Evaluation of the Safety and Immunogenicity of an Antimalarial Vaccine Candidate Modified Peptide (IMPIPS) Mixture in a Murine Model
Fecha de publicación: 30/12/2019

Malaria continues being a high-impact disease regarding public health worldwide; the WHO report for malaria in 2018 estimated that ~219 million cases occurred in 2017, mostly caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The disease cost the lives of more than 400,000 people, mainly in Africa. In spite of great efforts aimed at developing better prevention (i.e., a highly effective vaccine), diagnosis, and treatment methods for malaria, no efficient solution to this disease has been advanced to date. The Fundación Instituto de Inmunología de Colombia (FIDIC) has been developing studies aimed at furthering the search for vaccine candidates for controlling P. falciparum malaria. However, vaccine development involves safety and immunogenicity studies regarding their formulation in animal models before proceeding to clinical studies. The present work has thus been aimed at evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of a mixture of 23 chemically synthesised, modified peptides (immune protection-inducing protein structure (IMPIPS)) derived from different P. falciparum proteins. Single and repeat dose assays were thus used with male and female BALB/c mice which were immunised with the IMPIPS mixture. It was found that single and repeat dose immunisation with the IMPIPS mixture was safe, both locally and systemically. It was observed that the antibodies so stimulated recognised the parasite’s native proteins and inhibited merozoite invasion of red blood cells in vitro when evaluating the humoral immune response induced by the IMPIPS mixture. Such results suggested that the IMPIPS peptide mixture could be a safe candidate to be tested during the next stage involved in developing an antimalarial vaccine, evaluating local safety, immunogenicity, and protection in a nonhuman primate model.


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Occurrence and molecular characterization of Giardia duodenalis in child population from Colombia
Fecha de publicación: 01/12/2019

Giardia duodenalis is one of the most prevalent human intestinal parasite, with children living in developing countries being particularly at risk of infection. The occurrence and molecular diversity of G. duodenalis was investigated in stools specimens from 307 individuals aged one to nineteen years in Colombia. Samples were collected in three educational establishments (n: 163) and two hospital laboratories (n: 144) from urban and rural areas. Feces were concentrated using a biphasic sedimentation method and wet mounts of the sediment were examined by light microscopy. G. duodenalis assemblages and sub-assemblages were determined on positive samples by PCR of the triose phosphate isomerase (tpi), β-giardin (bg) and small-subunit (ssurRNA genes. G. duodenalis infection was detected by microscopy in 23 individuals (7.5%). The protozoan was more prevalent among specimens collected in educational establishments (11.6%) than in those obtained from hospital laboratories (2.8%). Infection was most common in individuals from urban areas and children aged 1–5 years. No significant association between diarrhea and infection could be demonstrated. Twenty Giardia-positive samples were successfully allocated to assemblage B (n: 11), sub-assemblage AII (n: 7), and assemblage A (n: 2). Results indicate the potential for transmission of G. duodenalis infection in children attending educational establishments and individuals from urban areas, where transmission seems to be primarily anthroponotic.


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Multilocus fragment analysis of Cryptosporidium parvum from pre-weaned calves in Colombia
Fecha de publicación: 01/04/2019

The intra-species genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium parvum in dairy cattle farms in the central area of Colombia was investigated using a multilocus fragment typing approach with nine variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) loci and the gp60 gene. Genomic DNA of 70 C. parvum isolates from pre-weaned calves in 32 farms was analysed. Most markers showed two (ML1, MSB, CP47, and MSC6-7) or three alleles (5B12, Cgd2_3850, and Cgd6_5400), although they exhibited a major allele accounting for more than 69% of specimens, which explains their low discriminatory index. The TP14 microsatellite was monomorphic while a total of six alleles were found at the ML2 microsatellite. The two novel allelic variants (219bp, 245bp) exhibited by more than 36% of specimens at the latter locus were a remarkable finding. The 10-markers typing tool provided a Hunter-Gaston discriminatory value of 0.940 (95% CI, 0.918 – 0.961) and differentiated 22 multilocus subtypes (MLTs). Nevertheless, the combination of the three most informative markers (ML2, gp60, and Cgd2_3850) differentiated 68% of MLTs and hardly impaired the discriminatory index. The fact that many MLTs (13/22) were distinctive for individual farms provides evidence for the endemic nature of the infection and the major role played by transmission within farms. The eBURST algorithm suggested a low degree of genetic divergence. All but three MLTs were clustered in a clonal complex with a star-like topology typical of clonal expansion, however linkage analysis did not find evidence of linkage disequilibrium. Bayesian analysis also identified a genetic structure with K = 3 being the best estimation of ancestral clusters, although a large proportion of isolates (35%) could not be allocated to a single population, which indicates their mixed origin. The results confirm the genetic distinctiveness of C. parvum in cattle farms in this geographical area. This is the first multilocus analysis on the intra-specific variability of Cryptosporidium from calves in South America.


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Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis GP60 subtypes worldwide
Fecha de publicación: 01/09/2017

Cryptosporidium is a zoonotic parasite very important in animal health as well as in public health. It is because this is one of the main causes of diarrhea in children, calves, lambs and other variety of youth mammalians in a lot of countries. The globalization has enabled the exchange of biological material in different regions worldwide, encouraging the spread of diseases and exposure to these biological agents to different environmental conditions, inducing adaptation through genetic changes. Based in the polymorphism of the gene for GP60, this review intended to present the distribution of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis in humans and calves worldwide. The subtype that affects cattle more frequently corresponds to IIaA15G2R; while the subtype most frequently isolated from human samples is IaA19G2.


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Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis GP60 subtypes worldwide
Fecha de publicación: 03/09/2017

Cryptosporidium is a zoonotic parasite very important in animal health as well as in public health.  It is because this is one of the main causes of diarrhea in children, calves, lambs and other variety of youth mammalians in a lot of countries. The globalization has enabled the exchange of biological material in different regions worldwide, encouraging the spread of diseases and exposure to these biological agents to different environmental conditions, inducing adaptation through genetic changes. Based in the polymorphism of the gene for GP60, this review intended to present the distribution of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis in humans and calves worldwide. The subtype that affects cattle more frequently corresponds to IIaA15G2R; while the subtype most frequently isolated from human samples is IaA19G2.


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