Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy - INEP

Microscope

The group of immunoparassiologists  at INEP is continuously studying how the helminth Trichinella spiralis, through its excretory-secretory products (ES L1 antigens), communicates with the host immune  system and thus modulates not only the inflammatory response against itself, but also influences the development of autoimmune disease - experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Diseases that are the consequence of immune system disregulation, like autoimmunity or allergy, take epidemic proportions in highly developed countries, where the prevention of the infection with various pathogens, including parasitic worms, is successfully carried out. In countries where the infection with one or more parasites is high (like in Africa), allergies and autoimmune diseases are very rare. Studies have shown that helminths, as the most complex microorganisms, contribute to the development, regulation and function of the immune system, and are therefore considered masters of immunomodulation. Discovering the immunomodulatory mechanisms by which helminths induce the regulatory network that prevent autoimmunity and allergy and restores homeostasis could help design new approaches for treating these diseases.