Professor Peter Nejsum – Aarhus University Hospital

16/05/2024 2:00 pm - 16/05/2024 3:00 pm
L3C Seminar Room

WEHI Special Population Health & Immunity Seminar hosted by Associate Professor Aaron Jex

Professor Peter Nejsum

Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University; Department of Infectious Diseases, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark


Extracellular vesciels in host-parasite interaction   


L3C Seminar Room

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Including Q&A session



Helminths are parasitic worms that often cause chronic infection by releasing excretory/secretory products that modulate the host’s immune response. We, and others, have shown that extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released with the excretory/secretory products. To understand the potential role of EVs in host-parasite interaction, we have profiled their content and identified microRNAs and proteins that may be essential for parasite survival. To further understand their role, we have conducted several functional studies, and strikingly, we find that EVs may play a diverse role in host-pathogen interaction depending on parasite species. While we find that Ascaris release EVs that suppress the host immune response and are selectively internalized by monocytes, Trichuris-derived EVs did not modulate the immune response but selectively packed microRNAs in EVs that can suppress cancer genes. Other parasites release highly immunogenic EVs, suggesting a central role in pathogenicity. In conclusion, though we find that EVs are critical in host-parasite interaction their role is context and species-dependent.


Peter Nejsum, Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark. He is a trained biologist from Aarhus University and obtained his PhD in molecular parasitology from the University of Copenhagen in 2009. Following a 3-year postdoc, he was appointed Associated Professor until 2016, when he moved to Aarhus University. His research on host-pathogen interaction with a primary focus on helminth-induced immunomodulation. In this way, he explores the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the host immune response but also whether pathogen-derived EVs hold therapeutic potential for inflammatory conditions. Likewise, he aims to engineer mammalian cells to generate anti-inflammatory EVs for use as drug delivery systems. Lastly, he explores the diagnostic potential of EVs in pathogen infection. Highly competitive national and international grants have supported this work. He has served as a reviewer for a high number of journals and has published more than 115 peer-reviewed articles in international journals since 2005 while routinely disseminating his research to the public.



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