Exploring the interactions between schistosome eggs and the human host

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Schistosoma flatworms are a genus of parasitic blood flukes that inhabit tropical and developing communities throughout Africa, Asia and South America. Infection with Schistosoma flukes causes the disease schistosomiasis, which results in approximately 200,000 deaths per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Three schistosome species are mainly responsible for human infection; Schistosoma mansoni, S. japonicum and S. haematobium. Schistosomiasis progresses through several stages, culminating with the establishment of a chronic infection. This chronic stage of infection is the phase in which the pathology and morbidity most commonly associated with schistosomiasis develops. Host-parasite interactions are important in disease progression and pathology; Schistosoma parasites utilise host-derived signals as developmental cues, and schistosomiasis pathology develops largely as a result of the host response to worm- and egg-derived antigens. The interactions that occur between schistosomes and the host are therefore of interest in furthering our understanding of disease progression and in aiding the search for novel methods of controlling schistosomiasis. The aim of this thesis was to explore several platforms of host-parasite interactions that occur during chronic human schistosomiasis, focusing on egg-derived mediators and host responses to such mediators
Date of AwardJul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsNorthern Ireland Department for the Economy
SupervisorGeoffrey Gobert (Supervisor) & Mark Robinson (Supervisor)


  • Schistosome
  • schistosoma
  • egg-host communication
  • egg secretome
  • hepatic stellate cell

Cite this