In this study, we aim to improve schistosomiasis control by understanding why in Schistosoma-infected people living in the same endemic area, some develop pathology while others do not. We do this by taking an innovative approach through the investigation of the immune response to schistosomes and how it induces or regulates schistosomal disease. We hypothesize that inflammatory T helper 17 cells (Th17) are involved in Schistosomal immunopathogenesis while regulatory T cells (Treg) control the inflammatory reactions. To understand the immune pathways involved, we aim to study in northern Senegal where schistosomiasis is endemic, the balance between Treg and Th17 and the association with morbidity patterns in the community. To this end, subjects with or without schistosome-induced pathology will be fully characterized with respect to their Treg and Th17 cells. Using polarization and cell signalling assays, we will attempt to understand how cells regulating the pathological pathways are induced, and also how schistosomes can control the balance between these cells. Data will be collected to assess the involvement of other environmental and host-related (genetic) factors herein. This project will expand our basic knowledge of the immune mechanisms underlying schistosomiasis pathology, and thus provide the basis for improved control programmes in the future.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/12 → 11/04/19|
IWETO expertise domain