Patrick de Baetselier

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Human sleeping sickness in east Africa is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. The basis of this pathology is the resistance of these parasites to lysis by normal human serum (NHS). Resistance to NHS is conferred by a gene that encodes a truncated form of the variant surface glycoprotein termed serum resistance associated protein (SRA). We(More)
Extracellular trypanosomes can cause a wide range of diseases and pathological complications in a broad range of mammalian hosts. One common feature of trypanosomosis is the occurrence of anemia, caused by an imbalance between erythropoiesis and red blood cell clearance of aging erythrocytes. In murine models for T. brucei trypanosomosis, anemia is marked(More)
Dendritic cells (DC) are described as "nature's adjuvant," since they have the capacity to sensitize T cells in vivo upon first encounter with the antigen. The potent accessory properties of DC appear to develop sequentially. In particular, the ability to process antigens and to sensitize native T cells develops in sequence, a process termed "maturation"(More)
Although it is well-established that macrophages can occur in distinct activation states, the molecular characteristics of differentially activated macrophages, and particularly those of alternatively activated macrophages (aaMphi), are still poorly unraveled. Recently, we demonstrated that the expression of FIZZ1 and Ym is induced in aaMphi as compared(More)
The parasite Trypanosoma brucei possesses a large family of transmembrane receptor-like adenylate cyclases. Activation of these enzymes requires the dimerization of the catalytic domain and typically occurs under stress. Using a dominant-negative strategy, we found that reducing adenylate cyclase activity by about 50% allowed trypanosome growth but reduced(More)
African trypanosomes are extracellular parasitic protozoa, predominantly transmitted by the bite of the haematophagic tsetse fly. The main mechanism considered to mediate parasitemia control in a mammalian host is the continuous interaction between antibodies and the parasite surface, covered by variant-specific surface glycoproteins. Early experimental(More)
In the search for new diagnostic methods that would distinguish Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense from T. b. brucei and T. b. gambiense, we have developed two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer sets. The first primer set was derived from the serum resistance-associated (SRA) gene of T. b. rhodesiense that confers resistance to lysis by normal human serum(More)
Trypanosoma brucei is lysed by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in a dose-dependent way, involving specific binding of the cytokine to a trypanosomal glycoprotein present in the flagellar pocket of the parasite. TNF-alpha-gold particles are endocytosed via coated pits and vesicles and are directed towards lysosome-like digestive organelles. The(More)
Nanobodies are the smallest fragments of naturally occurring single-domain antibodies that have evolved to be fully functional in the absence of a light chain. Nanobodies are strictly monomeric, very stable, and highly soluble entities. We identified a nanobody with subnanomolar affinity for the human tumor-associated carcinoembryonic antigen. This nanobody(More)
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), but not lymphotoxin (LT), is directly trypanolytic for salivarian trypanosomes. This activity was not blocked by soluble 55-kilodalton and 75-kilodalton TNF receptors, but was potently inhibited by N,N'-diacetylchitobiose, an oligosaccharide that binds TNF. Comparative sequence analysis of TNF and LT localized the trypanocidal(More)