Cédric Lippens PhD thesis

Costs and benefits of the inflammatory response in host-parasite relationship

Funding: Ministry of Higher Education and Research

Supervisor: Gabriele Sorci

Beginning: october 2013



Host-parasite interactions are characterized by trade-offs that involve both plastic and microevolutionary responses. On one hand, while immunity is essential to fight parasites, it can also cause damage to the host, leading to autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases. On the other hand, parasites have to cope with the immune environnement provided by the host. This raises the question of the costs and benefits of the inflammatory response for the two partners of the interaction. With different experimental and literature-based approaches, I showed that immunopathology is a trait that likely persists because of the immediate benefits of the immune response in terms of protection against parasites. Furthermore, I was able to show that inflammation positively altered the life history traits of the gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus both plastically or after experimental evolution. However, the parasite invested more in immunomodulation and camouflage when facing an inflammatory environment, leaving open the question of the costs associated with an inflammatory environment over the entire lifespan of the parasite and/or across generations.


Key words

plasticity, selection, trade-off, life history traits, inflammation, immunomodulation, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, Plasmodium yoelii, Mus musculus domesticus


Monitoring committee for thesis

Pierre-Yves Henry - Lecturer - UMR7179 CNRS-MNHN

Aurélie Tasiemski - Lecturer (habilitation research) - UMR CNRS 8198, Lille university

Fréderic Thomas - Senior scientist – UMR (IRD/CNRS/UM) 5290, CREEC