Particularly we seek to:

  • Map risk factors of helminth burdens and associated disabilities in poor communities so as to better inform current control strategies.
  • Identify and characterise host regulators of helminth transmission and morbidity so as to design host-directed therapies.
  • Understand the complex interplay between helminths and memory immune responses in the context of vaccination so as to provide strategies that incorporate the potential influence or lack of influence of these parasites during vaccination campaigns.
  • Understand the tripartite interaction between helminth infections with their associated tissue pathology, the host factors and the microbiome for a host/microbiome-incorporating design of intervention strategies during helminth infections.
  • Identify helminth-derived host modulators that could inform better ways to mitigate untoward responses that drive disease.

Our research may be informative in the development of anti-helminth vaccines, novel anthelminthic drugs, public health policies and in identifying helminth-derived therapeutics that could help alter negative host responses.

Our group makes use of available clinical sites in West Africa (Cameroon) where helminth endemic areas are mapped for prevalence and morbidity. Human tissue biopsies (blood, serum, plasma) and murine models of transgenic mice are used in partnership with collaborators for in-depth mechanistic assays involving various immunological assays, next generation sequencing, metabolome, cytokine & microbiome studies.

Funding

The IBHI Lab has received past and present funds or support from the European Union via the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) programme, the UK Royal Society and the African Academy of Sciencesthe Merck Global Health Institute, the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation and the University of Glasgow.

Collaborations

Africa

  • Prof Frank Brombacher, UCT, South Africa (Mouse models)
  • Dr Katie Lennard, UCT, South Africa (Bioinformatics)
  • Dr Mamadou Kaba, UCT, South Africa (Microbiome studies)
  • Prof Emilson Chimusa, UCT, South Africa (Next generation sequencing)
  • Dr Palmer Masumbe, University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon (Clinical parasitoses)
  • Prof Veronique Penlap Mbeng, University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon (Clinical microbiology)
  • Dr. Alim Oumarou, Minsante, Cameroon (Ultrasonography)

Americas

  • Prof Henrique Ferreira, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do sul, Brazil (Helminth/Host Proteomics)
  • Prof De’Broski Herbert, University of Pennsylvania, USA (Helminth Immunology)

UK, Europe

  • Dr Thomas Spangenberg – Global Health Drug Discovery, Merck KgaA, Switzerland (Schistosomiasis)
  • Prof Manfred B Lutz, University of Würzburg, Germany (Immunotherapeutics)
  • Prof Klaus Brehm, University of Würzburg, Germany (Tapeworm research)
  • Dr Poppy Lamberton, University of Glasgow, UK (Clinical Schistosomiasis)