Thomas  R.  Klei 
Boyd Professor  - Parasitology and Veterinary Science
Interim Vice Chancellor  - Research and Economic Development
Bachelor's Degree(s): Northern Michigan University
PhD: Wayne State University
PostDoc: NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 1971-73, University of Georgia
Phone: (225) 578-4422
Lab Phone: (225) 578-9700
Fax: (225) 578-5983
Office: 3305



Dr. Klei has a joint appointment in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences the School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Veterinary Science in the LSU Agricultural Center. He also serves as Interim Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development. Dr. Klei lectures courses on parasitology and immunology in the veterinary medical curriculum and in the graduate program in veterinary medical sciences. He has served as major and minor professor for both MS and Ph.D. candidates. He is currently the PI on a NIH IBRE grant, and T35 training grant for veterinary students. He is co-director of a NIH T32 grant for training in experimental pathology and medicine and a NIH COBRE grant in Experimental Infectious Disease. He is a past president of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists and currently serves on the editorial boards of Parasite Immunity and the Compendium for Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian. He is a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry on the development of veterinary anthelmintics, and vaccines and he has served on grant peer review panels for the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization.

Area of Interest


His research activities are related to the host immune response to parasitic nematode infection as it develops into either protection from infection or pathology. Specific involvements include the study of immunopathogenic and regulatory mechanisms involved in human filariasis. These studies are primarily of laboratory animal models for human lymphatic filariasis. He and his laboratory are currently active as a Co-PI in a NIH funded program to develop recombinant protein vaccines against filarial nematodes of man. Dr. Klei also maintains an interest on the basic and applied aspects of equine parasite control which include characterization of the immune response to nematode infections, studies on basic biologic and chemotherapeutic control measures useful against internal parasites of horses, and the epidemiology of equine nematode infections.

Selected Publications


Martin HR, Shakya KP, Muthupalani S, Ge Z, Klei TR, Whary MT, Fox JG. 2010. Brugia filariasis differentially modulates persistent Helicobacter pylori gastritis in the gerbil model. Microbes Infect.12(10):748-58.


Brianti E, Giannetto S, Traversa D, Chirgwin SR, Shakya K, Klei TR. 2009. In vitro development of cyathostomin larvae from the third stage larvae to the fourth stage: morphologic characterization, effects of refrigeration, and species-specific patterns. Vet Parasitol. 163(4):348-56.


Traversa d, Kuzimina T, Kharchenko VA, Iorio R, Klei TR. 2008. Haplotypic variability within the mitochondrial gene encoding for the cytochrome c oxidase 1 (cox 1) of Cylicocyclus nassatus (Nematoda, Strongylida): evidence for an affiliation between parasitic populations and domestic and wild equid hosts. Vet Parasitol. 156(3-4):241-7


Chirgwin SR, Coleman SU, Klei TR*. 2008. Brugia pahangi: In vivo migration of early L3 alters gene expression. Exp Parasitol. 118(1): 89-95


Porthouse KH, Chirgwin SR, Coleman SU, Taylor HW, Klei TR. 2006 Inflammatory responses to migrating Brugia pahangi third-stage larvae. Infect Immun.74:2366-72


Dash Y, Ramesh M, Greiner D, Shultz LD, Klei TR, Rajan TV. 2007. Determinants of memory in experimental filarial infection in mice. Parasite Immunol. 29(11): 567-74.


Traversa D, Iorio R, Klei TR, Kharchenko VA, Gawor J, Otranto D, and Sparagano OAE. 2007. Simultaneous species-specific identification of equine strongyles (Nematoda, Strongylida) by Reverse Line Blot hybridization: A new method. J Clin Micro. 45(9): 2937-42.


Chirgwin SR, Coleman SU, Porthouse KH, Klei TR. 2006 Tissue migration capability of larval and adult Brugia pahangi. J Parasitol.92(1):46-51.


Chirgwin SR, Rao UR, Mai Z, Coleman SU, Nowling JM, Klei TR. 2005. Kinetics of T cell cytokine gene expression in gerbils after a primary subcutaneous Brugia pahangi infection. J Parasitol.91:264-8.


Chirgwin SR, Rao UR, Coleman SU, Nowling JM and TR Klei. 2005. Profiling the Cellular Immune Response to Multiple Brugia pahangi Infections in a Susceptible Host. J Parasitol  91: 822-9.


Chirgwin SR, Coleman SU, Porthouse KH, Nowling JM, Punkosdy GA, Klei TR. 2003. Removal of Wolbachia from Brugia pahangi is closely linked to worm death and fecundity but does not result in altered lymphatic lesion formation in Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). Infect Immun. 2003 71:6986-94.


Chirgwin, S.R., Nowling, J.M., Coleman, S.U., and Klei, T.R. 2003 Brugia pahangi and Wolbachia: The Kinetics of Bacteria Elimination, Worm Viability and Host Responses Following Tetracycline Treatment. Exp Parasitol. 103: 16-26.


Chirgwin,S. R., Nowling, J.M., Coleman, S.U., and Klei, T.R. 2003 Effect of immunostimulatory oligodeoxynucliotides on host responses and the establishment of Brugia phangi in mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguicualtus) J Parasitol 89: 483-489.


Chirgwin SR, Elzer PH, Coleman SU, Nowling JM, Hagius SD, Edmonds MD, Klei TR. Infection Outcome and Cytokine Gene Expression in Brugia pahangi-infected Gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) Sensitized with Brucella abortus. Infect Immun. 2002 (11):5938-45.