Trichinella spp is a zoonotic nematode that represents a health hazard for consumers of raw or undercooked meat from contaminated animals (pigs, wild boar, horses and other susceptible species that may be consumed). Health checks on carcasses require a search for the presence of muscle larvae of this parasite (EU regulations 2015/1375, EU 2020/1478 and ISO Standard 18743) using a method of artificial digestion of meat samples. This method is expensive, time-consuming and relies on the technical expertise of analysts, as it is not automated. Replacing direct analysis with more reliable and less costly means of control is therefore a national and European necessity.


I- Develop detection tests based on recombinant proteins or aptamers, so that standardised tests can be developed with sufficient specificity and sensitivity, particularly for pigs in the early stages of infection or with low parasite loads. These tests are intended to replace the regulatory method of direct detection, but also for epidemiological surveillance of pig farms known as HRT (housing controlled against the risk of Trichinella) and which may be exempt from systematic control at the slaughterhouse.

II- To understand the interactions of Trichinella with its host (mainly pigs) in order to propose a vaccine prophylaxis adapted to regions/countries that cannot systematically and reliably implement official health controls. This work involves identifying relevant targets and studying the mechanisms of invasion of the parasite, as well as the defence and/or tolerance mechanisms induced in the host towards Trichinella.

Our research projects not only enable us to define parasite targets for prophylactic purposes, but also open up broader perspectives such as the identification of virulence factors and an understanding of invasion and host immune defence mechanisms in relation to a parasitic nematode.

Major results:

I- Our most recent work has identified the interaction between NBL1 (a protein expressed by Trichinella spiralis) and host cell vimentin, with the potential to regulate collagen expression. Collagen is the major component of the parasitic capsule that protects the nematode from the immune response of its host and thus enables its long-term survival. This work represents a breakthrough in our understanding of Trichinella's interactions with its host.

A Trichinella spiralis new born larvae-specific protein, Ts-NBL1, interacts with host's cell vimentin. 2022, Wang  et al, Parasitology Research

Current projects:


Collaborations :

We collaborate on a national, European and international scale through research contracts that provide funding for doctoral students and scientific exchanges.

Modification date : 24 April 2024 | Publication date : 21 February 2023 | Redactor : S.Bertrand / C. Rouxel