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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Cinzia Cantacessi

Dr Cinzia Cantacessi

Department of Veterinary Medicine

Gastrointestinal helminths, host-parasite interactions, high-throughput sequencing technologies.

Research themes

Cambridge Parasitic and Neglected Tropical Diseases Network:

Helminths as therapeutic intervention

Departments and Institutes

Veterinary Medicine:

Research Interests

Our current research focus is the application of next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics to the study of the molecular interactions occurring at the host-parasite interface, with a particular emphasis on gastrointestinal, soil-transmitted helminths of humans (e.g. hookworms, whipworms, roundworms).

This includes studies of the sequences, structural features and transcription profiles of parasites molecules with unknown function, as well as of the relationships between gastrointestinal parasites and the gut commensal flora, in order to elucidate their involvement in the cascade of biological events leading to the invasion of, and the establishment in, the vertebrate host(s), as well as to the modulation of the host immune response.

Our research interests also include the development of new bioinformatic pipelines for nucleic acid sequence analyses, including software for the identification of putative rational targets for the development of novel treatment and control strategies against parasitic diseases.


  • Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Microbiome
  • Immunology


  • Therapeutic Interventions (Other)
  • Helminths

Key Publications

Gastropod-borne helminths: a look at the snail-parasite interplay. Cantacessi C., Giannelli A., Colella V., Dantas-Torres F., Otranto D., 2016:  Trends in Parasitology, in press. 

Carcinogenic liver fluke secretes extracellular vesicles that promote cholangiocytes to adopt a tumorigenic phenotype. Chaiyadet S., Sotillo J., Smout M., Cantacessi C., Jones M.K., Johnson M.S., Turnbull L., Whitchurch C.B., Potriquet J., Laohaviroj M., Mulvenna J., Brindley P., Bethony J.M., Laha T., Sripa B., Loukas A., 2015:  Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212: 1636-45. 

The role of wild canids and felids in spreading parasites to dogs and cats in Europe. Part I: Protozoa. Otranto D., Cantacessi C., Pfeffer M., Dantas-Torres F., Brianti E., Deplazes P., Genchi C., Guberti V., Capelli G., 2015:Veterinary Parasitology, 213: 12-23. []

The role of wild canids and felids in spreading parasites to dogs and cats in Europe. Part II: Helminths and arthropods.  Otranto D., Cantacessi C., Dantas-Torres F., Brianti E., Pfeffer M., Genchi C., Guberti V., Capelli G., Deplazes P., 2015:  Veterinary Parasitology, 213: 24-37.