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A Mouse Model: To Predict the Effect of Devil Facial Disease (DFTD) on Sarcophilus harrisii Behavior

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dc.contributor.author Valentine, Kendal
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-23T21:04:02Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-23T21:04:02Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11868/737
dc.description.abstract The specific question in study is if the parasitic cell line of devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) induces behavioral changes in its host in order to augment transmission. DFTD has obliterated the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population since its emergence, causing the species to become endangered. The experimental plan will be two-fold: establishing an effective non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) DFTD mouse model, and observing relative behaviors in individuals who contract DFTD. Two previous studies which have established effective NOD/SCID DFTD mouse models will provide crucial guidance to procedures of DFTD tumor cell culture and inoculation (Kreiss et al., 2011, Pinfold et al., 2014). NOD/SCID (immunocompromised) mice will be injected with DFTD cells and will have the ability to develop the disease. The second portion of the experiment involves a series of behavioral observations of BALB/c (normal) mice, NOD/SCID mice, and DFTD-infected NOD/SCID mice. In an open-field chamber, two mice will interact for 48 hours and will have access to food, water, a resting area, and an activity (a mouse wheel) (Figure1). It is expected that DFTD-infected NOD/SCID mice will display an increase in aggressive social behaviors such as biting, attacking, and fighting because they have contracted the parasitic cell line. In comparison, BALB/c and NOD/SCID mice should exhibit lower levels of aggression. NOD/SCID mice are immunocompromised and will likely exhibit decreased activity (Mench, 1998). The results of this study have the potential to combine known information from Tasmanian devil behavioral studies with successful DFTD tumor cell mouse models in order to elucidate the overall understanding of the DFTD disease mechanism. Understanding the mechanism could lead to further studies that explore the possibility of a neuron-parasite interaction which induces observed behaviors. Studies may investigate upregulation or downregulation of neurotransmitters and/or altered neurotransmitter receptor function. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, The University of Tampa en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher The Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, The University of Tampa en_US
dc.subject Tasmanian devil en_US
dc.subject DFTD en_US
dc.subject Devil Facial Tumor Disease
dc.subject Sarcophilus harrisii
dc.subject NOD/SCID
dc.subject Tasmania
dc.title A Mouse Model: To Predict the Effect of Devil Facial Disease (DFTD) on Sarcophilus harrisii Behavior en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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