31 May 2005
Prof. James McKerrow (University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA)
The Host-Parasite Relationship – Lessons in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology
Eukaryotic parasites are the agents of major global health problems affecting millions of people in the developing world. The relationship between parasite and host is both ancient and often long-lived. A prime example is that of schistosome bloodflukes which can live in a human host for over 10 years. Using this complex organism as an example we will discuss research that has unraveled the molecular mechanisms of host invasion, degradation of host hemoglobin as a food source, and a remarkable adaptation that allows the organism to exploit the host immune response as a signal for development.