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Home > Research > Research Groups > Helminths - W Horsnell/K Smith

Helminth Immune Regulation

Group leaders: Bill Horsnell and Katie Smith
Phone: +27 21 406 6220

Office: Falmouth Bldg 3.20 (entrance 2, use lift to floor 3)

 

The group’s studies have shown that helminth infections can both impair and improve immunity to unrelated infections. The group is therefore trying to understand the mechanisms that underlie these changes with the goal of seeing if helminths can be utilised for treating other infections. An example is to understand how helminths can induce products in the host that may protect against allergies and lung infections.  Helminth infections are very prevalent in South Africa with up to 70% of the population infected at any one time in some areas and exposure may be closer to 100%.


Projects include:

  • Novel role of pulmonary surfactant protein D in helminth infections.
  • Novel mediators of pulmonary immunity to infection.
  • Acetylcholine mediated control of infection and signalling in the immune system.
  • How helminth infections alter maternal transfer of immunity.
  • How helminth infections alter control of unrelated infections and vaccines.
  • Neutrophil control of immunity.
  • Protection from RSV infection by lung resident T cells.

 

Bill's publications

Katie's publications