Abstract: Giardia intestinalis is a major cause of diarrhea but half of the infected remain asymptomatic. The mechanisms of disease remain poorly defined but no major intestinal tissue destruction and inflammation is induced. The parasite has even been suggested to be protective against other intestinal infections that cause severe inflammation in the intestine. To better understand the crosstalk between G. intestinalis and human intestinal epithelial cells, and especially the low level of inflammation, we studied gene expression in human intestinal epithelial cells and the parasite secretome during interaction in vitro. Interactions between Giardia trophozoites and host intestinal epithelial cells induce specific responses in both cell types. These responses can explain the low levels of inflammation during Giardia infections and it suggests how the diarrhea-causing parasite Giardia can be protective against other diarrheal diseases.
Biosketch: Dr. Staffan Svärd is currently Professor of Eukaryotic Microbiology at Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (ICM), Uppsala University, Sweden. Since 2011 he is also the Head of Department of ICM. Dr. Svärd did his PhD on catalytic RNAs and started to work on protozoan parasites as a post-doc in San Diego in the mid 90’s. The main research interest of Dr. Svärd since this time has been studies of the Biology and pathogenesis of Giardia inestinalis. Giardia is an intestinal parasite that currently induces 200 million cases of symptomatic diarrheal disease world-wide. The main focus of the Svärd research group is studies of host-parasite interactions using various omics techniques.
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