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Schistosomiasis: the role of parasite genetics in human infection and disease

In this project we will study Schistosoma parasite genetics and relate these to human infection and pathology, taking into account relevant epidemiological and environmental data. The first part of the study will take place in Senegal, where detailed parasitological and immuno-epidemiological information is available through past and ongoing research projects (FWO, DGDC, EC). The acquired knowledge and gained expertise and experience here will be instrumental in the success of this proposal. In the second part we will validate our results with data from a less studied region with different epidemiological features (i.e. history of infection, endemicity, treatment history) in DRCongo. Such a comparative approach is crucial to reveal genuine associations between parasite genotype and host infection and disease phenotype.
1. What is the overall distribution of genetic variants (genotypes) of schistosome parasites within human populations?
2. Is there a link between specific parasite genotypes and human infection and pathology status?
3. Can we link these parasite genotypes to specific parasite genes and their function?
Datum:1 okt 2012 →  5 jul 2017
Project type:PhD project