Exploring the host/parasite relationship: Establishment of an in vitro intestinal crypt culture system and investigation of iron modulation by the gastrointestinal nematode parasite Trichuris muris

  • Roberta Oliveira

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


Iron plays a major role in gut microflora and its availability can impact how commensal and pathogenic bacteria interact and affect host immunity. We used Trichuris muris, a tractable mouse model of the Trichuris trichiura infection in humans, to study the role of a secreted protein in iron binding. The 43 kDa protein (P43) is a major component of the excretory-secretory product of the worm and has an iron binding motif in its sequence. Using salmonella strains genetically modified to report changes in iron concentration we were able to assess the influence of P43 in sequestering iron. As part of our investigation into the host/parasite relationship we derived an in vitro mouse primary cell culture and observed the interactions of T. muris larva with the cell system. We used the organoid model to achieve long term cultures of cecum crypts, added hatched larva to cultures and documented interactions with microscopy.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRichard Grencis (Supervisor) & David Thornton (Supervisor)


  • Trichuris
  • Organoids
  • Iron

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