Gary J. Weil, M.D.

Internal Medicine
Infectious Diseases
Molecular Microbiology

Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program

  • 314-747-5198

  • 314-747-5198

  • 314-454-5293

  • Room 4184, 4444 Forest Park Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110



  • gene expression, epidemiology, functional genomics, parasitology

  • Research on the biology of filarial nematode parasites

Research Abstract:

The Weil laboratory (currently comprised of faculty members Peter Fischer and Ramakrishna Rao, Staff Scientist Kerstin Fischer, Postdoctoral fellow Joseph Fauver, and two research technicians) conducts research on filarial nematode parasites that cause important neglected tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis (also known as "elephantiasis" and onchocerciasis ("river blindness"). Our work is focused on the development and field application of improved diagnostic tests, on developing improved therapies, and on basic parasite biology. For example, we (with others) have developed new diagnostic tests for filariasis based on detection of parasite antigens, parasite DNA, and human antibodies to recombinant parasite antigens. Ongoing field studies are exploring the value of these newer tests for monitoring the impact of mass treatment programs on filariasis prevalence rates and transmission. We are also using genoproteomic approaches to develop new diagnostic tests for other helminthic diseases such as paragonimiasis (lung flukes). Basic research in the laboratory is currently focused on studies of gene expression in worm parasites and on the pathogenesis of adverse events that patients sometimes develop following treatment. We are also studying the role of Wolbachia (endosymbiotic bacteria) on filarial worm survival and development.

Selected Publications:

Andersen BJ, Kumar J, Curtis K, Sanuku N, Satofan S, King CL, Fischer PU, Weil GJ. Changes in cytokine, filarial antigen, and DNA levels associated with adverse events following treatment of lymphatic filariasis. J Infect Dis 2018;217;280-287.

Rao RU, Samarasekera SD, Nagodavithana KC, Dassanayaka TD, Punchihewa MW, Ranasinghe US, Weil GJ. Reassessment of areas with persistent lymphatic filariasis nine years after cessation of mass drug administration in Sri Lanka. Plos Negl Trop Dis 2017;11:e0006066.

Rao RU, Samaraskera SD, Nagodavithana KC, Punchihewa MW, Dassanayaka TD, Gamini PK, Ford E, Ranasinghe US, Henderson RH, Weil GJ. Programmatic use of molecular xenomonitoirng at the level of evaluation units to assess persistence of lymphatic filariasis in Sri Lanka. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2016;10:e0004742.

Li BW, McNulty SN, Rosa BA, Tyagi R, Zeng QR, Gu KZ, Weil GJ, Mitreva M. Conservation and diversification of the transcriptomes of adult Paragonimiasis westermani and P. Skrjabini. Parasit Vectors 2016; 9:497.

McNulty SN, Rosa BA, Fischer PU, Rumsey JM, Erdman-Gilmore P, Curtis KC, Specht S, Townsend RR, Weil GJ, Mitreva M. An integrated multi-omics approach to identify candidate antigens for serodiagnosis of human onchocerciasis. Mol Cell Proteomics 2015;14:3224-3232.

Li BW, Rush AC, Weil GJ. Expression of five acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in Brugia malayi adult worms. Int J Parasitol: Drugs and Drug Resistance. 2015;5:100-109.

Fischer PU, Weil GJ. North American Paragonimiasis: Epidemiology and diagnostic strategies. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2015:13:779-786.

Li BW, Rush AC, Weil GJ. High level expression of a glutamate-gated chloride channel gene in reproductive tissues of Brugia malayi may explain the sterilizing effect of ivermectin on filarial worms. Int J Parasitol: Drugs and drug resistance 2014;4:71-76.

Fischer K, Beatty WL, Weil GJ, Fischer PU. High pressure freezing/freeze substitution fixation improves the ultrastructural assessment of Wolbachia endosymbiont–filarial nematode host interaction. PLoS One 2014;9:e86383.

Last Updated: 7/27/2018 11:14:24 AM

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