Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology

Research on Pathogen Biology, Host-Pathogen Interaction and Immunity

In the Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, we explore the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pathogen survival, transmission and host-pathogen interaction. We investigate how host factors influence the response to infection and disease using various models of infection as well as clinical samples from human patients. By improving our understanding of these biological processes, we hope to contribute to the control of diseases of poverty such as malaria, tuberculosis, trypanosomiasis, dengue, Buruli ulcer and helminth infections.

Research on Pathogen Evolution and Transmission

We study how pathogens evolve to evade host immune mechanisms and develop resistance to anti-microbials, and how these phenomena influence the spread of these microbes. We apply various molecular epidemiological approaches to analyze infection and transmission dynamics, and monitor the effects of interventions such as transmission control, vaccination or drug treatment on the prevalence and population structure of these pathogens.

Development of Diagnostics, Drugs and Vaccines

We use our enhanced understanding of host-pathogen biology to develop new diagnostics, drug sensitivity assays, drugs and vaccines against these diseases. We evaluate new diagnostics, and perform both pre-clinical and clinical studies of novel treatments as well as of candidate antigens and antigen delivery systems for vaccine purposes. This work also includes the development of new animal models and controlled human infection models to assess novel interventions. These activities are carried it out in collaboration with many international institutions, including our long-term partners in endemic countries.


Ajayi O et al. Discovery of an orally active nitrothiophene-based antitrypanosomal agent. Eur J Med Chem. 2024;263:115954. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2023.115954

Akinsolu F.T et al. Health workers' perspectives on school-based mass drug administration control programs for soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis in Ogun State, Nigeria. PLoS One. 2024;19(5):e0302509. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0302509

Baert L et al. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human macrophages as an infection model for Leishmania donovani. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2024;18(1):e001155. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0011559

Baltensperger A. Characterization of the protective immune response against hookworms in mice with a complex microbiome. Allschwil: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 2024. MSc Thesis

Billingsley P.F et al. A paradigm for Africa-centric vaccine development in Equatorial Guinea. Trends Parasitol. 2024;40(5):362-366. DOI: 10.1016/