Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



Biomphalaria glabrata is a species of freshwater snail that is an intermediate host to the parasite Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of human schistosomiasis. Substantial research has focused on the B. glabrata immune system, but progress is restricted by the limited molecular tools available for molluscan organisms. While many studies have described the anti-parasitic defenses of B. glabrata, the initiation and regulation of these defenses remain unclear. One important immune regulator, well known in both human and Drosophila immunology, is nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). Research has shown that B. glabrata NF-κB transcripts are upregulated in response to S. mansoni infection, but few functional assays have been performed to describe the activity of B. glabrata NF-κBs. The present study addresses this knowledge gap by developing a Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay to determine the binding sequences, gene targets, and relative activity of B. glabrata NF-κBs. The results of this assay will further our understanding of B. glabrata immunity, which may then be exploited to disrupt the S. mansoni life cycle and may provide insight into the evolution of NF-κB binding sequences. Additionally, this ChIP procedure may be easily adapted to suit other B. glabrata transcription factors, providing a valuable tool for future B. glabrata studies.

Level of Honors

summa cum laude




Judith Humphries

Available for download on Saturday, June 08, 2024

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