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Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases Program May 10 at Kingston Greenways Association


Thursday, May 10, 2018, 7:30 PM at the Kingston Firehouse, 8 Heathcote Road, Kingston

Dr. Alvaro Toledo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers, will give a talk on a hot topic--Lyme disease, ticks and vector-borne pathogens. Free and open to the public.

About ticks: Ticks are the most important vectors for infectious diseases in the northern hemisphere, and second after mosquitoes worldwide. As a result, there is an increasing public health interest in tick-borne pathogens. Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of different vertebrate species. Typically, ticks have 4 stages (egg, larvae, nymph and adult) that feed on three different hosts in a two-year life cycle. Importantly, ticks can transmit different diseases including Lyme disease, Human granulocytic anaplasmosis and Babesisis among others.

Lyme disease is by far the most prominent tick-borne disease in New Jersey with over 3000 cases per year. The causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burdorferi, is a spirochete and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. Typically, Lyme disease patients have symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash known as erythema migrans. If the infection is not treated in the initial stages, it can disseminate and affect joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Laboratory testing is useful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease are treated successfully with a 3-4 weeks antibiotic therapy. Methods to prevent Lyme disease include the use of insect repellent, pesticides and removing ticks promptly.

About Dr. Toledo:

Alvaro Toledo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology. His primary focus is to establish a research program on Lyme disease, ticks and the vector-borne pathogens at the Center for Vector Biology. Dr. Toledo received his M.S in Biology from the University of Oviedo before joining the School of Veterinary Sciences at Complutense University of Madrid, where he got his Ph.D in Microbiology with a dissertation on the infection dynamics of zoonotic agents in ticks from the Iberian Peninsula.

In 2008, he joined Dr. Jorge L. Benach's laboratory at Stony Brook University as a post-doctoral fellow, where he studied the roles of the protease Lon-1 in the pathogenesis of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, and characterized a relapsing fever Borrelia strain isolated from human patients.

In 2012, Toledo was promoted to Research Scientist and studied the role of the glycolytic enzyme enolase in the binding of plasminogen and subsequent activation into plasmin. Additionally, Toledo contributed to the discovery of novel membrane micro-domains (lipid rafts) in B. burgdoferi and was awarded a Career Development and Training grant from the NIH to study the role of proteins in the promotion of lipid rafts in B. burgdorferi. In 2014, Dr. Toledo was promoted to Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Stony Brook University where he continued his studies on lipid rafts and cholesterol. In 2017, Dr. Toledo joined the Entomology Department at Rutgers University where he studies the role of cholesterol in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Dr. Toledo studies in cholesterol are supported by an R21 grant from the NIAID-NIH.

Valid from 04/05/2018 to 05/11/2018

Kingston Greenways Association


Valid from 10/09/2009