Jan Van Den Abbeele

Jan Van Den Abbeele

Associate Professor, Professor

  • Nationalestraat

    2000 Antwerpen


1988 …2021

Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research expertise

Jan Van Den Abbeele graduated as a zoologist and obtained a PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Antwerp in 2001.

During this period, he was trained as a parasitologist and insect molecular biologist at the Unit of Entomology at Institute of Tropical Medicine and at the Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) where he studied different aspects of the development of the Trypanosoma 
  parasite in the tsetse fly.

Currently, he is professor at ITM and head of the Unit of Veterinary Protozoology. He is also coordinator of the Group Protozoa of the BMS department and member of the ITM Policy Commission Education.   In November 2011, he was awarded with an ERC-Starting/Consolidator Grant with the project NANOSYM: 
Symbiotic bacteria as a delivery system for Nanobodies that target the insect-parasite interplay’.

Research activities of his group focus on African trypanosomiasis aiming to understand the molecular mechanisms and evolution of drug-resistance in animal African trypanosomes and the molecular dialogue between the parasite and  the host  (tsetse fly  as well as the mammalian host)  as key component in the pathogen transmission.

His lab is FAO-Reference Centre for Animal African Trypanosomiasis  - drug resistance and diagnosis.

Research Themes

  • Molecular basis of drug resistance of Trypanosoma congolense and T.vivax, its transmission dynamics and evolution in the natural environment; development of molecular tools to monitor drug resistance in natural parasite populations;
  • The tsetse fly immune system to control the development of the trypanosome parasite in the alimentary tract and salivary glands; 
  • Early development of the T.brucei parasite in the mammalian host at the tsetse fly biting site and the role of the host innate immune system; modulation of the host hemostatic reactions and innate immune responses by tsetse fly salivary components.
  • Development and optimization of an anti-tsetse saliva ELISA as an epidemiological tool to measure tsetse fly exposure of the mammalian host population
  • Biology and control of Sodalis glossinidius, a bacterial symbiont in the tsetse fly, and its interaction with  trypanosome development.
  • Genetical modification of Sodalis glossinidius to deliver trypanosome-targeting molecules such as Nanobodies® (paratransgenesis)

ERC-NANOSYM project – BBC World 
EC-TRYRAC project (Trypanosomosis Rational Chemotherapy

Teaching expertise

  • Molecular aspects of Biological transmission of vector-borne diseases
  • Research methodology
  • Transmission of vector-borne diseases
  • Molecular Biology

Education/Academic qualification



External positions

Guest Professor, Lab of Zoophysiology, Dept. of Physiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Ghent



  • B361-physiology-of-invertebrates
  • tsetse fly
  • trypanosome transmission
  • innate immunity
  • salivary gland proteins
  • bacterial symbionts
  • paratransgenesis
  • B750-veterinary-medicine
  • Animal African trypanosomiasis
  • Trypanosoma congolense
  • Trypanosoma vivax
  • drug resistance
  • genetic diversity
  • evolution and transmission dynamics
  • B780-tropical-medicine
  • Human African trypanosomiasis
  • Trypanosoma brucei
  • host innate immunity


Dive into the research topics where Jan Van Den Abbeele is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or