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Genetic and immunological factors in human resistance to schistosomiasis mansoni - implications for vaccine development


This project associate 3 groups from Brazil, 1 from England, 1 from Kenya and 3 from France in an multidisciplinary (genetic, epidemiology, immunology) evaluation of the immunological and genetic factors that determine infection and disease in an endemic area of schistosomiasis mansoni. Genetic factors acting on ineection intensity and disease phenotype will be evaluated by segregation analysis and linkage studies in Kenyan and Brazilian populations, in subjects with chronic and in subjects with acute infections. The modern genetic approach that is being taken will allow us to identiey and locate the genes that play a Significant role in these phenotypes, Wherever these genes are located in the human genome. Furthermore, the relationship between these genes and how they affect innate or acquired immunity will be determined. This work will provide valuable information on the protective mechanisms that should be stimulated by an anti-schistosome vaccine. Furthermore studies on the immunological response of resistant subjects have identified 3 larval antigens that are major targets of either humoral or cellular response of these individuals. The present project will evaluate the use of these Antigens in vaccination.
This project is based on a long standing collaboration between french and brazilian groups; it is also grounded on observations made by our groups on a major gene in human resistance to S.mansoni and on the immunological mechanisms that may be critical to human resistance to infection. Dr Butterworth and coll. have taken a very similar inmunological approach in Kenya, interactions between our two networks should allow to determine to what extent observations on the genetic control of resistance and disease made in brazilians are valid in africans. Finally this project is associated with a major training component for young scientists from the laboratories of the proposed network.


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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)
27 boulevard jean moulin
13385 Marseille

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Participants (4)