Identifying the molecular determinants of Schistosoma mansoni reproduction & longevity

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Institut Pasteur de Lille Université Nord de France

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Schistosomiasis is the second most important parasitic disease after malaria. It affects 250 million people and is responsible for about 200 000 deaths per year. Praziquantel is the only drug used to cure schistosomiasis and its massive administration in endemic areas raises serious concerns about the emergence of resistant parasite strains. Schistosome parasites such as Schistosoma mansoni are blood-dwelling flatworms with a remarkable capacity to reproduce and to escape immune responses from the host. The pathology of schistosomiasis is mainly due to the high fecundity of female worms and the accumulation of parasite eggs in host tissues, causing severe disorders and particularly hepatosplenomegaly and hepatic fibrosis.

The Chemical Biology of Flatworms (CBF) team develops innovative approaches in protein chemistry and biosystems design, in the study of signaling pathways using various cellular and animal models and above all in developing novel therapeutic strategies against Schistosomiasis through integrated chemical biology programs.