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Parasitology@CMIM

Immunoparasitology

The focus of our research is to obtain a better insight into the mechanisms of infection-induced immunopathology during African trypanosomiasis, as well as to study pathways of parasitemia control. The ultimate goal of this research is the development of new diagnosis, vaccination and treatment strategies to control this parasitic disease, which currently affects both human and livestock in vast areas of sub-Saharan Africa. As model systems in our research, we use parasite strains that cause human sleeping sickness (T. rhodesiense and T. gambiense), as well as parasites that have a major economic impact by infecting livestock (T. congolense, T. vivax, T. brucei and T. evansi).

With respect to the development of new diagnostic tools and treatment modalities, we have adopted the Nanobody technology. While small antibody fragments such as Nanobodies allow the targeting of unique surface epitopes on the parasite, their binding does not seem to be hindered by the presence of infection-associated conventional antibodies from the host. Hence, Nanobodies are now being generated with the aim of (i) targeting trypanolytic drug compounds towards the parasite in a very specific manner, and (ii) developing new diagnostic tools that can recognize parasite antigens in the blood of infected patients.

At the level of immunopathology research, we mainly focus on analyzing the role of TNF in infection-associated anemia, as well as B-cell memory destruction. In the past, we have meticulously uncovered the role of the main parasite compounds involved in the induction of inflammatory TNF-mediated responses. Now, we are continuing this research in order to gain a better insight into actual trypanosomiasis disease development, as well as the role of inflammation in the destruction of vaccine-induced memory. The latter is crucial to understanding why all anti-trypanosome vaccination strategies appear to have failed so far.

In addition, structural biology investigations into the molecular interactions involved in cell invasion by parasites are performed.

Publications Stefan Magez

Tipping the balance between erythroid cell differentiation and induction of anemia in response to the inflammatory pathology associated with chronic trypanosome infections

24/11/2022

Front Immunol. 2022 Nov 7;13:1051647. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1051647. eCollection 2022.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 36420267 | PMC: PMC9676970 | DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1051647

Recent progress in diagnosis and treatment of Human African Trypanosomiasis has made the elimination of this disease a realistic target by 2030

21/11/2022

Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Nov 3;9:1037094. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.1037094. eCollection 2022.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 36405602 | PMC: PMC9669443 | DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2022.1037094

The Pathogenesis of African Trypanosomiasis

02/09/2022

Annu Rev Pathol. 2022 Sep 2. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pathmechdis-031621-025153. Online ahead of print.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 36055769 | DOI: 10.1146/annurev-pathmechdis-031621-025153

The Role of MIF and IL-10 as Molecular Yin-Yang in the Modulation of the Host Immune Microenvironment During Infections: African Trypanosome Infections as a Paradigm

25/04/2022

Front Immunol. 2022 Apr 7;13:865395. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.865395. eCollection 2022.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 35464430 | PMC: PMC9022210 | DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.865395

Detrimental Effect of Trypanosoma brucei brucei Infection on Memory B Cells and Host Ability to Recall Protective B-cell Responses

01/04/2022

J Infect Dis. 2022 Aug 26;226(3):528-540. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiac112.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 35363871 | DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiac112

Publications Carl De Trez

Loss of AID exacerbates the malignant progression of CLL

30/08/2022

Leukemia. 2022 Oct;36(10):2430-2442. doi: 10.1038/s41375-022-01663-5. Epub 2022 Aug 30.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 36042317 | PMC: PMC9522595 | DOI: 10.1038/s41375-022-01663-5

The Role of MIF and IL-10 as Molecular Yin-Yang in the Modulation of the Host Immune Microenvironment During Infections: African Trypanosome Infections as a Paradigm

25/04/2022

Front Immunol. 2022 Apr 7;13:865395. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.865395. eCollection 2022.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 35464430 | PMC: PMC9022210 | DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.865395

Miltefosine enhances infectivity of a miltefosine-resistant Leishmania infantum strain by attenuating its innate immune recognition

22/07/2021

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jul 22;15(7):e0009622. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009622. eCollection 2021 Jul.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 34292975 | PMC: PMC8330912 | DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009622

ILC3s control splenic cDC homeostasis via lymphotoxin signaling

16/03/2021

J Exp Med. 2021 May 3;218(5):e20190835. doi: 10.1084/jem.20190835.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 33724364 | PMC: PMC7970251 | DOI: 10.1084/jem.20190835

USP13 controls the stability of Aurora B impacting progression through the cell cycle

11/08/2020

Oncogene. 2020 Sep;39(37):6009-6023. doi: 10.1038/s41388-020-01396-8. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID: 32772043 | DOI: 10.1038/s41388-020-01396-8