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Mammals have evolved through interspecific relationships with parasites, including ubiquitous worms. Nematode parasites (round worms) parasitize the gut, blood vessels or other tissues of their human and animal hosts. The chronic nature of the resulting diseases is owed to the worms’ exceptional abilities to manipulate their host immune responses, to create a favorable environment for them to thrive. How these metazoan parasites secure their place in the host at the molecular level is therefore a matter of considerable scientific and potential therapeutic interest.
Our work is focused on the molecular negotiations in host-parasite interactions. The functional characterization of excretory/secretory material released by the worm at the parasite-host interface is essential to determine how nematodes manipulate their hosts’ immune system to favor the development of chronic infections.