Projects per year
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 brucei parasite in the tsetse fly.
Currently, he is full professor at ITM and head of the Trypanosoma Unit. He is coordinator of the Group Protozoa of the BMS department, vice-chair of the Institutional Ethics board, and member of the ITM Policy Commission Research. In November 2011, he was awarded with an ERC-Starting Grant/Consolidator with the project NANOSYM:
'Symbiotic bacteria as a delivery system for Nanobodies that target the insect-parasite interplay’.
His research focuses on African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei sp. and T. congolense) , protozoan parasites that causes devastating diseases in humans (sleeping sickness) and livestock (Animal trypanosomiasis). It aims to improve our understanding of i) the parasite adaptive changes during key life cycle stages and its interplay with the host micro-environments and ii) the underlying mechanisms of parasite drug resistance. Besides this basic research, his unit develops and/or optimizes methods for improved sleeping sickness parasite diagnosis and molecular surveillance.
Since 2021, his unit is WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training on Human African Trypanosomiasis.
Current Research Themes
- Trypanosome survival mechanism and adaptation to different host environments with focus on key stages in the parasite life cycle in the tsetse fly (metacyclic stage) and the mammalian host (early skin stage); role of trypanosome surface proteins during these key stages and their potential for vaccine-based targeting to block early infection after tsetse fly transmission;
- The host skin immune environment after a trypanosome-infected tsetse bite;
- Role of tsetse fly saliva in trypanosome development;
- Mechanisms of drug transport and the acquisition of drug resistance in livestock trypanosomes;
- Development of molecular surveillance tools for T. brucei gambiense;
- Development and optimization of an anti-tsetse saliva ELISA as an epidemiological tool to measure tsetse fly exposure of the mammalian host population;
- Genetical modification of Sodalis glossinidius to deliver trypanosome-targeting molecules (paratransgenesis).
- Laboratory diagnostics
- Biological transmission of vector-borne diseases
- African trypanosomiasis
- Molecular biology
Guest Professor, Ghent University1-Mar-2013 → 29-Feb-2016
- tsetse fly
- trypanosome transmission
- innate immunity
- salivary gland proteins
- bacterial symbionts
- Animal African trypanosomiasis
- Trypanosoma congolense
- Trypanosoma vivax
- drug resistance
- genetic diversity
- evolution and transmission dynamics
- Human African trypanosomiasis
- Trypanosoma brucei
- host innate immunity
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years
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Development and validation of next-generation serodiagnostics for the elimination of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense human African trypanosomiasis.
8/06/23 → …
FA5 RDC_OC1: Strengthen research and education capacities in the partner institutes (INRB, CRSK, ESP) in DRC (Outcome 1) - Support to interruption of transmission of Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) by 2030 (Outcome 2)
Vanlerberghe, V., Verlé, P., Nicco, E., Van Cauwenberg, I., Rosanas-Urgell, A., Mutsaers, M., de Jong, B., Van Den Abbeele, J., Dermauw, V., Ariën, K., Hauner, A., Monsieurs, P., Van Bortel, W. & Vanlerberghe, V.
1/01/22 → 31/12/26
Project: Development project
INNATEBITE: Innate immune response in the mammalian host skin after the bite of a trypanosome-infected tsetse fly
1/01/22 → 31/12/25
Project: Research Project
GENTOOL: Novel genetic tools to study the molecular basis of drug resistance in Trypanosoma congolense
1/10/18 → 31/12/20
Project: Research Project
Van Den Abbeele, J., Aristodemou, A., Lorentzen, E., Gould, M., Brennand, A., Dupuy, J-W., Forne, I., Imhof, A., Bramkamp, M., Salmon, D., Rotureau, B. & Boshart, M., 2022, In: Nature Communications. 13, 1, p. 5445 17 p., 5445.
Research output: Contribution to journal › A1: Web of Science-article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile20 Downloads (Pure)
Heme-deficient metabolism and impaired cellular differentiation as an evolutionary trade-off for human infectivity in Trypanosoma brucei gambienseHorakova, E., Lecordier, L., Cunha, P., Sobotka, R., Changmai, P., Langedijk, C. J. M., Van den Abbeele, J., Vanhollebeke, B. & Lukes, J., 2022, In: Nature Communications. 13, 1, p. 7075 14 p., 7075.
Research output: Contribution to journal › A1: Web of Science-article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile9 Downloads (Pure)
Prevalence of Trypanosoma and Sodalis in wild populations of tsetse flies and their impact on sterile insect technique programmes for tsetse eradicationDieng, M. M., Dera, K-S. M., Moyaba, P., Ouedraogo, G. M. S., Demirbas-Uzel, G., Gstöttenmayer, F., Mulandane, F. C., Neves, L., Mdluli, S., Rayaisse, J-B., Belem, A. M. G., Pagabeleguem, S., de Beer, C. J., Parker, A. G., Van Den Abbeele, J., Mach, R. L., Vreysen, M. J. B. & Abd-Alla, A. M. M., 2022, In: Scientific Reports. 12, 1, p. 3322 17 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › A1: Web of Science-article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile8 Downloads (Pure)
De Ridder, K., Hussain, S., Stijlemans, B., De Baetselier, P., Caljon, G. & Van Den Abbeele, J., 2022, In: PLoS Pathogens. 18, 3, 23 p., e1010376.
Research output: Contribution to journal › A1: Web of Science-article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile10 Downloads (Pure)
Tsetse salivary glycoproteins are modified with paucimannosidic N-glycans, are recognised by C-type lectins and bind to trypanosomesKozak, R. P., Mondragon-Shem, K., Williams, C., Rose, C., Perally, S., Caljon, G., Van den Abbeele, J., Wongtrakul-Kish, K., Gardner, R. A., Spencer, D., Lehane, M. J. & Acosta-Serrano, A., 2021, In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 15, 2, 22 p., 0009071.
Research output: Contribution to journal › A1: Web of Science-article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile21 Downloads (Pure)