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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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UMR BIPAR Biologie Moléculaire et Immunologie Parasitaire

PARALIM - Zoonotic food-borne parasites

The research projects

The research projects of the PARALIM team aim to improve the strategy against foodborne parasites by understanding their interactions with the host and by studying their infectivity. Our work focuses on food parasites responsible for major zoonotic diseases such as Trichinella spp, Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia duoduenalis. These parasites were identified as the most important foodborne parasites by a recent international expert group (FAO classification based on several criteria for the management of the risks of food pests, October 2012)

Research topics

Our work is based on two strategic axes:

  • Study of host-parasite interactions, with the objective of protecting hosts by a preventive approach or to define new therapeutic approaches
  • The development of innovative tools for the evaluation of the virulence of the parasites or for their detection in the animal or environment for the evaluation of risk factors for disease.

1/ Host-parasite interactions: analysis of early stages of invasion

Most foodborne parasites enter the host through the intestinal mucosa. The first stages of their parasitic cycle, including the sexual stages in the definitive host, develop within this mucosa. Our team focuses on the early phases of the parasitic cycle to improve control strategies through 3 points:

  • Characterization of a specific Trichinella stage protein: NBL1
  • Identification of the factors allowing the development of the sexual stages of Toxoplasma gondii in the final host
  • Understanding the interactions of Giardia duodenalis with the intestinal microbiota

2/ Evaluation of parasite circulation and characterization of virulence factors.

The characterization of the factors playing a role in the infectivity of the parasites as well as the analysis of their circulation make it possible to identify risk factors in the farms and to develop new diagnostic tools:

larve trichine n°047_1
  •  Development of serological tests for better detection of Trichinella spp in animals
  •  Development of innovative tests to improve the assessment of T. gondii contamination of livestock and of their sources of contamination
  •  In vitro evaluation of the virulence of Cryptosporidium spp

Trichinella group

Trichinella group (leader I. Vallée)
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Toxoplasma group

Toxoplasma group (Head R. Blaga)
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Cryptosporidium/Giardia

Cryptosporidium/Giardia (Head K. Adjou)
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