Where Ideas grow

Parasite Disease


The group works with protozoan parasites responsible for important human diseases such as Leishmania spp, Plasmodium, T. brucei and T. cruzi. The main objective of the research group is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms occurring during host-parasite interactions with the ultimate goal of identifying new prophylactic and therapeutic targets.



1. Advances in therapeutics:
- The genetic validation of ribose 5-phosphate isomerase B as a novel drug target in Leishmania infantum and Trypanosoma brucei.
- Disclosed the non-essentiality of Asparagine synthase A for L. infantum and T. brucei survival and infectivity.
- Bringing forward one new phase I clinical drug candidate for visceral leishmaniasis (NMTRYPL, FP7 project) and for Chagas Disease (KINDRED, FP7).
-Established mice models of leishmaniasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) and Chagas disease using state of the art whole mice in vivo imaging.

2. Establishment of a vaccine formulation for leishmaniasis and the characterization of the immune response (antigenicity and safety) in preclinical studies in mice. This vaccine is ready to enter in phase I clinical trials (MuLeVaClin, FP7 project).

3. The dissection of the role of Leishmania exoproteome on the host immune system and its contribution to parasite infectivity.

4. New diagnosis method using a green technology to detect veterinary and human leishmaniasis.

5. Implementation of P. berghei and P. yoelii rodent models for studying malaria pre-erythrocytic phase using live imaging. The dissection of the role of several Plasmodium sporozoites candidate molecules in the homing of parasites to the liver.

Immunofluorescence of dendritic cells infected with the parasite Leishmania infantum.