Department of Parasitology

parasitology Infectious diseases are still a huge menace to human health and continue unabated in tropical areas under the conditions of poverty and the unique natural and social environments. Various kinds of parasites infect humans for long periods of time without killing them, giving rise to tremendous afflictions, social and/or economic loss. We would like to develop deep insight into parasitic diseases and the surrounding factors from various points of view through both field and laboratory studies. Our goal is to contribute to new knowledge and to provide an enthusiastic environment for the training of the future generation of investigators.

Schistosoma mansoni


  • Professor   Shinjiro Hamano
  • Visiting Professor   Dinesh Mondal
  • Visiting Professor   Sammy Njenga
  • Visiting Professor   Abhay Satoskar
  • Assistant Professor   Yoshinori Mitsui
  • Assistant Professor   Risa Nakamura
  • Research Fellow   Taeko Moriyasu
  • Technologist   Megumi Hamasaki
  • Assistant   Hiromi Oda
  • Assistant   Yasuko Kawabata
  • Assistant   Chiaki Hisata
  • Graduate Student   Shumpei Kambe
  • Graduate Student   Ken-ichi Nobusue
  • Graduate Student   Evans Asena Chadeka
  • Graduate Student   Musa Abu Mohamed
  • Graduate Student   Khanjada Shahnewaj Bin Mannan
  • Graduate Student   Mitsuko Hasegawa
  • Graduate Student   Jean Pierre Kambala Mukendi
  • Graduate Student   Mio Tanaka
  • Graduate Student   Keith Kiplangat Talaam
  • Graduate Student   Eman Abdelazeen Abuelmafa Mousa (South Valley University)
  • Graduate Student   Miho Sassa
  • Medical Student   Jo Ishii
  • Medical Student   Risa Yamasaki

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We have been carrying out both field and laboratory studies on several of the most important helminthic diseases, including schistosomiasis, filariasis and intestinal helminthiasis and on important but neglected protozoan diseases such as amebiasis, leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis.

Schistosomiasis, Filariasis and STHs

We have been researching parasitic diseases in Mbita Kenya, in cooperation with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). In the laboratory, we maintain Schistosoma mansoni and intermediate snails and are trying to elucidate immune responses as well as to develop ideal diagnostic methods through the study on the unique molecules belonging to Schistosoma spp. In 2017, we have just started “DeWorm3” project in Japan which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a collaboration with the Natural History Museum, London.
We set up lymphatic filariasis and neglected tropical disease unit (LF-NTD Unit) together with Prof. Kazuyo Ichimori, so as to contribute to the activities toward Global Program to Eliminate LF and NTD by WHO. In the laboratory, Brugia malayi, B. pahangi and Aedes aegypti are maintained.

Amoebiasis, Leishmaniasis, Trypanosomiasis etc.

Cohort studies on leishmaniasis are carried out in cooperation with the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B.) and Oita University. Field sites include Dhaka and rural areas of Bangladesh. In the laboratory, we study host defense mechanisms against Leishmania major, L. donovani, Trypanosoma cruzi, and in the process, have elucidated the function of the IL-12 cytokine family such as IL-27/WSX-1 during infection. We initiated developing the live attenuated vaccine to leishmaniasis by editing a gene using CRISPR-Cas9 system with the support from Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) in 2015. In addition, we developed animal models of intestinal amoebiasis together with Prof. Houpt at University of Virginia, we elucidated the pathogenicity of Entamoeba moshkovskii, and now are devoting ourselves to the study on molecular basis of pathogenicity of and host defense mechanisms to E. histolytica.

Cohort study using HDSS on infectious diseases in Mbita and Kwale area in Kenya

We are repeating cross-sectional study on infectious diseases including shistosomiasis, other helminthic and protozoan infections, Malaria, tuberculosis and so on, in Mbita area using HDSS (Health and Demographic Surveillance System) as the collaboration with London School, Niigata Univ. and Dept. Vector Ecology and Environment, Immunogenetics and Eco-epidemiology. In 2017, we have just started a new project to clarify “the dynamics of Schistosoma mansoni transmission and its environment along with Lake Victoria” with the support from MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A).

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