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French Parasitology Alliance For Health Care


 

  Nicolas Blanchard

Nicolas BLANCHARD

Information

microscope Center for Pathophysiology Toulouse Purpan - Inserm U1043 
team EIPIC: Eukaryotic Intracellular Parasites: Immunity and Chemoresistance 
location Toulouse
orcid 0000-0002-4924-2161 
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
website https://tinyurl.com/eipic-team

Scientific interests and projects

General scientific interests
We study immune responses to Toxoplasma and Plasmodium infections, with a major interest on the implication of T cell responses in host protection and immunopathology. We focus on the molecular determinants of antigen presentation and T cell immunity to these two apicomplexan intracellular parasites.
More specifically, using mouse models of Toxoplasma infection, we have dissected the molecular bases of tachyzoite antigen processing and presentation by macrophages and DC. We have recently established that MHC I presentation of tachyzoite antigens by neurons is critical for durable parasite control in the brain during chronic toxoplasmosis. Another outcome of this work was to create a unique experimental system to study latency and encephalitis in the widely used C57BL/6 mouse model.
In the context of malaria infection, we have profiled the first malaria MHC class II immunopeptidome (i.e. the repertoire of peptides presented by MHC II on the surface of DC). We have shed light on the deleterious role of a subset of conventional DC (cDC1) in driving pathogenic CD4 T cell responses during severe malaria.

We foresee two activities within the Parafrap consortium:
1- in the context of chronic toxoplasmosis, elucidate how cyst-containing neurons, possibly via specific effectors, evade CD8 T cell recognition to allow the establishment of latency.

2- implement a ‘forward vaccinology’ approach based on Plasmodium falciparum immunopeptidome characterization. The goal is to identify and prioritize candidate antigens for a blood stage malaria vaccine.