Apicomplexan Biology Lab

>>Apicomplexan Biology Lab

We focus on the study of a group of parasites, causative agents of both human and veterinary disease, collectively known as Apicomplexa. We aim to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying these parasites’s ability to multipy and disseminate. With this, we
aim to identify novel drug targets and drugs, to prevent these processes and more rapidly and effectively alleviate the diseases they cause.
Many, but not all, apicomplexans are able to cross the placental barrier causing abortion or congenital disease. We are interested in understanding the molecular basis of this capacitiy to cross such barrier, and their interactions with the host. Moreover, we are
interested in understanding which specific strains of apicomplexans are present in our country, and to which extent, in order to optimize treatments and diagnostics to what is locally relevant.
Finally, we work in collaboration with the Parasitology and Micology department of the School of Medicine to provide molecular unequivocal diagnosis of parasitic diseases. This allows us to carry out epidemiological surveys, and to better and more effectively treat individual patients.

Financia:


María E. Francia, PhD

Head
mfrancia@pasteur.edu.uy

Ramiro Tomasina, Químico Farmacéutico

MSc. Student
rtomasina@pasteur.edu.uy

Fabiana González
Undergraduate student in Biochemistry, Technician
fcgonzalez@pasteur.edu.uy
  • Systematic identification of proteins with a role in regulating T. gondii’s cell division

  • Identification of novel centrosomal components in T. gondii.

  • Identification of the molecular basis of differential pathogenesis among N. caninum strains.

  • Typing of prevalent Cryptosporidium species in Uruguay – in collaboration with the Parasitology and Mycology Department, School of Medicine.

  • Incidence of T. gondii in sheep abortion rates, and T. gondii presence in wildlife with a focus in the autochthonous members of the felidae family (Leopardus geoffroyi and Leopardus wiedii) Collaborative project with the Uruguayan Wool Secretiarat and the
    Biodiversity and Genetics Department from the Clemente Estable Research Institute.

  • “Genetic Manipulation in Unicelular Parasites”
    Organized by M. Francia

  • “Molecular Diagnosis of Parasitic Diseases”. Second semester 2019 (Date TBD).
    Parasitology and Mycology Department. School of Medicine.

  • 2017-2020 – Functional characterization of the apicomplexan parasite centrosome.
    Responsible: María E. Francia. FCE-ANII

  • 2017-2019 – Caracterización molecular y funcional de nuevos aislados nacionales y regionales de Neospora caninum. Explotación de sus características distintivas en el diseño racional de herramientas de diagnóstico y profilaxis para combatir la Neosporosis bovina.
    Responsable: María E. Francia. PDN-ANII

  • 2018-2020 – Systematic identification and functional analysis of novel centrosomal components in Toxoplasma gondii. Responsable: Maria E. Francia. ACIP-RIIP

  • 2019-2022 – Cuantificación de pérdidas embrionarias y fetales en majadas de Uruguay y diagnóstico de agentes infecciosos involucrados.
    Responsable: Sergio Ferro (SUL). FCE-ANII

  • Cabrera A, Berná L, Fresia P, Silveira C, Macias Rioseco M, Pritsch O, Riet-Correa F, Giannitti F, Francia ME*, Robello C*. (2019). Characterization of Four Novel Neospora Caninum Strains Reveals Underappreciated Regional and Worldwide diversity. Submitted. *co-corresponding author

  • Berry, L., Chen, CT, Francia, M.E. et al. (2018). Toxoplasma gondii chromosomal passenger complex is essential for the organization of a functional mitotic spindle: a prerequisite for productive endodyogeny. Cell. Mol. Life Sci.

  • Morlon-Guyot J, Francia ME, Dubremetz JF, Daher W. (2017). Towards a molecular architecture of the centrosome in Toxoplasma gondii. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2017 Feb 7; 4(2):55-71.

  • Francia ME#, Dubremetz JF, Morrissette NS. (2016) Basal Body Structure and Composition in the Apicomplexans Toxoplasma and Plasmodium. Review series on Basal Bodies across Eukaryotes. Cilia. Feb 4; 5:3. #corresponding author.

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