Give now!

Department of Infectious Diseases

David S. Peterson

BS, PhD
Associate Professor
Graduate Coordinator
Assistant Department Head
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Educational Background

  • ​BS (1979), University of California, Davis
  • PhD (1988), University of California, Irvine

About David S. Peterson

he primary research focus of my laboratory is to understand the role of parasite adhesion proteins in the interaction of Plasmodium falciparum with receptors on host cells. The particular parasite proteins I am interested in are all members of the duffy binding-like (dbl) superfamily of adhesion proteins. Different members of this large family of related proteins have been demonstrated to play a central role in two critical events in the parasites life cycle: invasion of red blood cells and adherence of parasitized red blood cells to the vascular endothelium and to placental syncytiotrophoblasts. We are currently characterizing one putative erythrocyte binding protein, to determine its role in red cell invasion. Related work seeks to determine the degree of gene polymorphism and differences in gene expression in the erythrocyte binding protein family. ​

Recently we have also begun to test the expression of various Plasmodium proteins in a novel expression host, the free-living protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila. We have shown that proteins such as TRAP and the CSP can be expressed in Tetrahymena, and appear to be functional. We are now investigating the use of the Tetrahymena expression system for characterization of the erythrocyte binding protein family of Plasmodium falciparum.

Our lab is also part of a collaborative effort with the laboratory of Dr. Julie Moore in this department to study how the binding of parasitized erythrocytes to host cells effects host cell function, particularly as it relates to immune function.


Research Interests

Characterization of adhesion proteins which mediate host-parasite interactions in Plasmodium falciparum​


Selected Publications

Search PubMed for “peterson ds AND Georgia”

  • Patel JC, Oberstaller J, Xayavong M, Narayanan J, DeBarry JD, Srinivasamoorthy G, Villegas L, Escalante AA, DaSilva A, Peterson DS, Barnwell JW, Kissinger JC, Udhayakumar V, Lucchi NW. Real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RealAmp) for the species-specific identification of Plasmodium vivax. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54986.
  • Shock BC, Birkenheuer AJ, Patton LL, Olfenbuttel C, Beringer J, Grove DM, Peek M, Butfiloski JW, Hughes DW, Lockhart JM, Cunningham MW, Brown HM, Peterson DS, Yabsley MJ. Variation in the ITS-1 and ITS-2 rRNA genomic regions of Cytauxzoon felis from bobcats and pumas in the eastern United States and comparison with sequences from domestic cats. Vet Parasitol. 2012 Nov 23;190(1-2):29-35.
  • Lucchi NW, Poorak M, Oberstaller J, DeBarry J, Srinivasamoorthy G, Goldman I, Xayavong M, da Silva AJ, Peterson DS, Barnwell JW, Kissinger J, Udhayakumar V. A new single-step PCR assay for the detection of the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31848.
  • Talundzic E, Shah S, Fawole O, Owino S, Moore JM, Peterson DS. Sequence polymorphism, segmental recombination and toggling amino acid residues within the DBL3X domain of the VAR2CSA placental malaria antigen. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31565.
  • Lucchi NW, Sarr D, Owino SO, Mwalimu SM, Peterson DS, Moore JM. Natural hemozoin stimulates syncytiotrophoblast to secrete chemokines and recruit peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Placenta. 2011 Aug;32(8):579-85.
  • Demas A, Oberstaller J, DeBarry J, Lucchi NW, Srinivasamoorthy G, Sumari D, Kabanywanyi AM, Villegas L, Escalante AA, Kachur SP, Barnwell JW, Peterson DS, Udhayakumar V, Kissinger JC. Applied genomics: data mining reveals species-specific malaria diagnostic targets more sensitive than 18S rRNA. J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Jul;49(7):2411-8.
  • Shock BC, Murphy SM, Patton LL, Shock PM, Olfenbuttel C, Beringer J, Prange S, Grove DM, Peek M, Butfiloski JW, Hughes DW, Lockhart JM, Bevins SN, VandeWoude S, Crooks KR, Nettles VF, Brown HM, Peterson DS, Yabsley MJ. Distribution and prevalence of Cytauxzoon felis in bobcats (Lynx rufus), the natural reservoir, and other wild felids in thirteen states. Vet Parasitol. 2011 Feb 10;175(3-4):325-30.
  • Githui, E.K., Peterson, D.S., Aman, R.A., Abdi A.I. Prevalence of 5’ Insertion mutants and analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism in the erythrocyte binding-like 1 (ebl-1) gene in Kenyan Plasmodium falciparum field isolates. Infect. Genet. Evol., 2010 Aug; 10(6):834-9 PMCID: 19879379
  • Brown HM, Lockhart JM, Latimer KS, Peterson DS. Identification and genetic characterization of Cytauxzoon felis in asymptomatic domestic cats and bobcats. Vet Parasitol. 2010 Sep 20;172(3-4):311-6.
  • Brown HM, Modaresi SM, Cook JL, Latimer KS, Peterson DS. Genetic variability of archived Cytauxzoon felis histologic specimens from domestic cats in Georgia, 1995-2007. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2009 Jul;21(4):493-8.
  • Brown HM, Berghaus RD, Latimer KS, Britt JO, Rakich PM, Peterson DS. Genetic variability of Cytauxzoon felis from 88 infected domestic cats in Arkansas and Georgia. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2009 Jan;21(1):59-63.

Be part of the CVM Team. Give today! Ok, let's do it!