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Optimising vaccine-induced immunity to gastro-intestinal nematode parasites

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Intestinal parasitic worm infections impose an enormous economic burden on society globally. Indeed the World Health Organisation has shown that parasitic worm infection is one of the most significant factors that traps developing countries into poverty. No effective vaccines exist to prevent infection of humans with gut-dwelling parasitic worms. Mice can be protected against infection with murine parasitic gut worms by vaccination. The project investigates mechanisms to optimise vaccine-induced resistance to the intestinal parasitic worm, Trichuris muris, and explores immunomodulatory antigens as vaccine candidates. Understanding vaccine-induced immunity in the mouse will inform the development of vaccines for use against these sorts of parasites in man. The project uses transgenic approaches and biomolecular analysis techniques, combined with a variety of contemporary immunological methodologies including cell and tissue culture, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, gene expression analyses and immunoassay.

Funding Notes

This project has a Band 3 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website. For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website. Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.


Dixon H., Little MC., and Else KJ. (2010) The protective Th2 response following subcutaneous vaccination against T. muris. International Journal for Parasitology 2010 May;40(6):683-93.

d’Elia R., Behnke JM, Bradley JE., and Else KJ. (2009) Regulatory T cells: a role in intestinal helminth survival and the control of host pathology. Journal of Immunology 182, 2340-2348

deSchoolmeester ML., Martinez Pomares L., Gordon S and Else KJ. (2009) The mannose receptor is not important in the expulsion of Trichuris muris. Immunology 126(2), 246-55.

deSchoolmeester ML., Manku H. and Else KJ (2006) The innate immune response of colonic epithelial cells to a nematode parasite does not differ between mouse strains that ultimately develop differentially polarised adaptive immune responses. Infection and Immunity, 74, 6280-6286.
LittleMC, Bell LV, Cliffe LJ and Else KJ (2005) The characterization of intraepithelial lymphocytes, lamina propria leukocytes and isolated lymphoid follicles in the large intestine of mice infected with the intestinal nematode parasite Trichuris muris. Journal of Immunology, 175, 6713-6722.

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