PARALIM (Manager B. Polack)

PARALIM - Nematodes and protozoa transmitted by food

The PARALIM team's research projects aim to improve strategies for controlling food-borne parasites by understanding their interactions with the host and studying their infectious power. Our work focuses on the food parasites responsible for the main zoonotic diseases, such as Trichinella spp, Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium spp and Giardia duoduenalis.


Our work is based on two strategic axes:

  • Studying host-parasite interactions with a view to protecting hosts or defining new therapeutic approaches
  • The development of innovative tools to assess parasite virulence or their detection in animals/environments to assess risk factors in herds.

1/ Host-parasite interactions: analysis of the early stages of invasion

Most food-borne parasites enter the host via the intestinal mucosa. The early stages of their parasitic cycle, including the sexual stages in the definitive host, develop within this mucosa. Our team is focusing on the early stages of the parasite cycle in order to improve control strategies through 3 points:

  • Characterisation of a Trichinella stage-specific protein: NBL1
  • Identifying the factors that enable the development of the sexual stages of Toxoplasma gondii in the final host
  • Understanding interactions of Giardia duodenalis with the intestinal microbiota


2/ Assessment of parasite circulation and characterisation of virulence factors

Characterisation of the factors involved in the infectivity of parasites and analysis of their circulation will allow identification of risk factors on farms and the development of new diagnostic tools .

  • The development of serological tests for improved detection of Trichinella spp in animals.
  • The development of innovative tests to improve the assessment of T. gondii contamination of livestock and their sources  of contamination.
  • In vitro assessment of the virulence of Cryptosporidium spp.

Research group :

Description of the team :

The Paralim team includess 16 permanent members from the EnvA and ANSES:

  • 3 professors EnvA
  • 4 Assistant Professors EnvA
  • 1 Assistant Professor UPEC
  • 1 Research Director (DR2) ANSES
  • 5 technicians/engineers (EnvA, ANSES)

The team aslo welcomes 3 to 6 non permanent staff per year, such as PhD and Master students, as well as periodically, some guests researchers from different institutions around the world

Modification date : 02 May 2024 | Publication date : 19 January 2017 | Redactor : Sophie Hourigat, Clotilde Rouxel