Where: At the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI‑MUHC) Glen Site, block E, room M1.3509, 1001 Decarie Boulevard, Montreal, Quebec H4A 3J1
When: Wednesday, April 10, 12–1 p.m.
Speaker: Igor C. Almeida, D.Sc.
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC)
Dept. of Biological Sciences
El Paso, TX, USA
alpha-Gal glycotopes as effective glycovaccines and chemotherapy biomarkers of Chagas disease
Chagas disease (ChD), caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is a devastating neglected tropical disease that affects 6-8 million people worldwide, mostly in Latin America. Lately, ChD has become a public health concern to nonendemic countries or regions such as the Unites States, Canada, and Europe. Chemotherapy in the chronic stage of the disease is partially effective and toxic. There is no preventive or therapeutic vaccine. T. cruzi has a surface coated by abundant glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycoproteins, which contain immunodominant and highly immunogenic α-Gal glycotopes, which are absent in humans. In the last several years, my research group has been characterizing and exploring these α-Gal glycotopes as potential prophylactic vaccine candidates, as well as biomarkers for early assessment of chemotherapeutic outcomes in patients with ChD. In this seminar, I will present and discuss our recent data on α-Gal-based vaccines and biomarkers for ChD.