The Host-Pathogen Interaction Laboratory is focused on the study of human and animal pathogens, in particular the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma cruzi —which causes Chagas disease—, T. vivax and T. evansi; the causative agent of Leishmania, and the Mycobacterium prokaryote —associated with tuberculosis—, with emphasis on its functional genomics and its interactions with the host.
On Chagas Disease, our main focus of study, we have described a set of proteins related to the redox metabolism of trypanosomatids. We seek to deepen its inhibition, as well as its use in the development of possible therapeutic strategies and preventive Likewise, we work on the characterization of gene expression changes produced by T. cruzi in human cells. We have shown that there is a cellular reprogramming by this parasite, which allows the establishment and persistence of the infection.
We are focus on the identification of virulence factors, the development of new prophylactic strategies, and the improvement of diagnostic techniques, as well as in understanding aspects of the basic biology of T. cruzi and other related pathogens that are important for human and animal health.
Study of the intracellular host-pathogen interaction with a systemic approach
At the lab we have studied virulence factors of intracellular pathogens, as well as the host genes and routes necessary for the establishment of the infection, and the interface between them. We set out as main objectives the design of new strategies for the treatment or prevention of various infectious pathologies, such as Chagas disease, African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and tuberculosis
Determination of virulence factors necessary for infection with T.cruzi
Regarding the establishment and persistence of T. cruzi infection, we have described a set of proteins related to the redox metabolism of trypanosomatids (triparedoxin cytosolic and mitochondrial peroxidase, triparredoxins, glutarredoxins, pteridin reductase), and we have characterized their structure and function. We are developing strategies for its inhibition, as well as its application in the development of therapeutic and preventive strategies.
Characterization of the changes in gene expression produced by intracellular parasites in human cells
We have shown that there is a cellular reprogramming led by T. cruzi that allows the establishment and persistence of the infection in human cells. One of the main objectives we are currently pursuing is to identify host proteins, which, when inhibited, prevent T. cruzi infection. We are also extending this strategy for genomic and molecular biology studies in leishmaniasis, African trypanosomiasis, neosporosis and
“Functional Genomics and its applications in biomedicine: Host-Pathogen interaction”. RIIP/UNU-Biolac Course. November 2014