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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


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.


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. 

Department of Veterinary Medicine
Gastrointestinal helminths, host-parasite interactions, high-throughput sequencing technologies.
Dr Cinzia  Cantacessi
Not available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
Host-Pathogen Interaction