Characterization of the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to the development inflammation-driven immunopathologies in African Trypanosome infection.

Project Details


African trypanosomes {AT) are extracellular protozoan parasites implicated in the development of Sleeping Sickness in Humans and Nagana in livestock, causing a fatal inflammatory chronic disease if left untreated. Since many years, our laboratory has been interested in the role of inflammatory cytokines, with a special emphasis on TNF, in AT-induced immuno-pathogenicity.

Therefore, the objectives of this proposal fit completely with the main interests of the laboratory and aims at better characterizing the in vivo mechanisms implicated in inflammation-induced immunopathology in the context of African trypanosome infection. More specifically, we will investigate (i) the role and cellular source of TNF in driving detrimental inflammatory processes leading to immunopathologies and, ultimately, to the host's death.

Hereby, we will investigate a possible role of myeloid cells, mainly neutrophils which were found to be important contributors, in triggering and maintenance of immunopathologies, such as anemia and liver injury following AT infection.

To gain new insights into the sequentia! steps leading to this chronic inflammatory disease, we will use multidisciplinary approaches as well as state-of-the-art techniques, comprising the generation and use of cell-specific TNF-deficient mice as well as specific TNF blocking molecules.
Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/19

Flemish discipline codes

  • Immunology not elsewhere classified


  • African trypanosomes