Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Host-parasite interactions during murine African trypanosomosis

Boniface NAMANGALA researcher laureate

°1964 Zambia
Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine, University of Zambia, 1992

Host-parasite interactions during murine African trypanosomosis

Dr. Namangala’s work constitutes a significant contribution to our understanding of sleeping sickness, an infectious disease affecting both humans and domestic animals that is in full recrudescence in Africa. Hence, his work is very relevant for the development of a large number of countries. Using an experimental model in rodents, he has obtained very original results. He was able to show that certain immune cells, the macrophages, become activated at different moments in the course of the infection with the parasite Trypanosoma brucei brucei and play a specific role in the resistance to the infection. At first, they inhibit the parasite in a process of inflammation, while having at the same time deleterious effects on the host. In later stages, under certain conditions, another macrophage population was shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This opens perspectives for the treatment of infected individuals and animals. Thus, the progression of the disease could be stopped through boosting the anti-inflammatory defence cells. This could be a valid alternative for currently used control measures of African tyrpanosomosis, of which the effect is far from optimal. There are chances that his results could also be extrapolated to other parasitic diseases like malaria and worm infections.
Dr. Namangala’s work has already found its way to the specialised press via publications in a number of highly ranked journals.
For all these reasons, he is an outstanding prize-winner of the Development Co-operation Prize 2001.

report by Prof. Dr. Eric Van Marck, Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium