My team has two major parallel interests: fundamental parasite biology and advanced parasite diagnostics and epidemiology.

On the fundamental side, we use advanced sequencing technologies and bioinformatics to explore the genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics of major human parasites, including soil transmitted helminthes and major diarrhoeal pathogens (Giardia and Cryptosporidium).

We are particularly interested in:

  • hosts and parasites interaction at the immunological level
  • parasite development in their host
  • parasite resistance to common antiparasitic drugs

On the applied side, we develop quantitative real-time PCR assays to test for major parasites and other pathogens/microorganisms of relevance to the local water industry (for example Cryptosporidium and toxigenic cyanobacteria) and/or of relevance to global health (for example human gastrointestinal parasites).

We use these tools to assess transmission risk and to explore parasite epidemiology in developed and resource poor settings.


Selected publications from A/Prof Aaron Jex

Ansell BRE, McConville MD, Ma’ayeh SY, Dagley MJ, Gasser RB, Svard SG, Jex AR. (2015). Drug resistance in Giardia duodenalis. Biotechnol Adv, 33, 888-901. PMID: 25922317

Ansell BRE, McConnville MJ, Baker L, Korhonen PK, Young ND, Hall RS, Rojaz CAA, Svard SG, Gasser RB, Jex AR. (2015). Time-dependent transcriptional changes in axenic Giardia duodenalis trophozoites. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004261 PMID: 26636323

Zhu XQ, Korhonen P, Young ND, Huimin C, Nejsum P, von Samsom-Himmelstjerna G, Boag P, Tan P, Fang X, Hall RS, Hofmann A, Sternberg P, Jex AR and Gasser RB. (2015). Genetic blueprint of the zoonotic pathogen Toxocara canis. Nat Comms. In Press PMID: 25649139

Jex AR, Nejsum P, Schwarz EM, Hu L, Young ND, Hall RS, Korhonen PK, Liao S, Thamsborg S, Xia J, Xu P, Wang S, Scheerlink JPY, Hofmann A, Sternberg PW, Wang J, Gasser RB. (2014). Genome and transcriptome of the porcine whipworm Trichuris suis. Nat Genetics. 46, 701-6 PMID: 24929829

Young ND*, Jex AR*, Li B*, Liu S, Yang L, Xiong Z, Li Y, Cantacessi C, Hall RS, Xu X, Chen F, Wu X, Zerlotini A, Oliviera G, Hofmann A, Zhang G, Fang X, Kang Y, Campbell BE, Loukas A, Ranganathan S, Rollinson D, Rinaldi G, Brindley PJ, Wang Jun, Yang H, Wang Jian and Gasser RB. (2012). Whole-genome sequence of Schistosoma haematobium. Nat Genetics, 44, 221-225 PMID: 22246508

Jex AR*, Liu S*, Li B*, Young ND*, Hall RS, Li Y, Yang L, Zeng N, Xu X, Xiong Z, Chen F, Wu X, Zhang G, Fang X, Kang Y, Anderson GA, Harris TW, Campbell BE, Vlaminck J, Wang T, Cantacessi C, Schwarz EM, Ranganathan S, Geldhof P, Nejsum P, Sternberg PW, Yang H, Wang Jun, Wang Jian and Gasser RB. (2011). Ascaris suum draft genome. Nature, 479: 529-533. PMID: 22031327

Jex AR, Smith HV, Nolan MJ, Campbell BE, Young ND, Cantacessi C and Gasser RB. (2011). Cryptic parasite revealed – improved prospects for treatment and control of human cryptosporidiosis through advanced technologies. Adv Parasitol, 77, 141-73 PMID: 22137584

Jex AR, Hall RS, Littlewood DT, Gasser RB. (2010) An integrated pipeline for next-generation sequencing and annotation of mitochondrial genomes. Nucleic Acids Res; 38: 522-533 PMID: 19892826

Jex AR and Gasser RB (2010) Genetic richness and diversity in Cryptosporidium hominis and C. parvum reveals major knowledge gaps and a need for the application of “next generation” technologies – Research review. Biotechnol Adv; 28: 17-26 PMID: 19699288

Jex AR, Smith HV, Monis P, Campbell BE, Gasser RB. (2008). Cryptosporidium – biotechnological advances in detection, diagnosis and analysis of genetic variation. Biotechnol Adv; 26: 304-317 PMID: 18430539

Lab research projects

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