Graduate School of Medicine / School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine

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Injection & Bioresponse

Infectious Diseases and Host Defense

In our department, Department of Parasitology, researches and educations focusing parasitic infectious diseases have been conducted. Although parasitic diseases are almost completely eradicated from developing countries, over 60% of world population are still at risk of being infected. Especially, malaria caused by Plasmodium protozoa kills 2 to 3 persons per minute worldwide. Parasites are consisted of eukaryotic cells like us, and antibiotics are generally ineffective because those therapeutic agents kill prokaryotic bacteria targeting prokaryotic features, such as cell walls and bacterial ribosomes. Thus, drug development for parasites is quite difficult. Furthermore, parasites transform their morphology and/or go through vector stages to complete their life-cycle, which makes it difficult to develop effective vaccines. Our final aim is to provide novel methods to control parasitic diseases based on our researches.

  • Staff
  • Research & education
  • Clinical Activities
  • Citizen Activities
  • Achievement
  • History


Lecturer Kazutomo SUZUE, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Takashi IMAI, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Chikako SHIMOKAWA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Alex OLIA, M.Sc.
Assistant Professor Tomoyo TANIGUCHI, Ph.D.

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Research & Education

Research content

The clinical course of infectious diseases including malaria is determined by balance between host and pathogens. Therefore, it is important to fully understand host-parasite relationship for controlling infectious diseases. We are interested in host-parasite relationship during malaria that kills around million persons, and we have researched to dissect interface of host and parasites from both host and parasite side. Specifically, host immune responses against malaria parasites are extensively analyzed. On the other hand, parasitic strategies for adaptation and parasitism are also analyzed at molecular levels. In addition to animal models using mice in our laboratory, patient studies in collaboration with Ugandan and Thai researchers have been conducted.

Business education

We are in charge of giving lectures for undergraduate and graduate students. In relation to our research, as one of the pathogens human parasites and their pathogenesis are lectured in the systematized PARASITOLOGY lectures. We also give lectures host defense mechanisms against pathogens as IMMUNOLOGY, and both for the third grade undergraduate students. For graduate school students, we instruct how to conduct scientific experiments to encourage their research mind.

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Clinical Activities

Parasitic diseases are never rare infectious diseases and occasionally seen in the clinics. We diagnose the designated intestinal infections according to the Infectious Diseases Control Law, such as amoebic dysentery, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis. In addition, malaria is also diagnosed. Opportunistic infections are increasing as highly advanced medical treatments have developed; toxoplasmic encephalitis is often observed in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. Our department diagnoses those infections and proposes treatment strategies in response to consults from hospitals and clinics in and outside Gunma prefecture. We also instruct general cautions to persons going to travel to the endemic areas.

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Citizenship Activities

We instruct general information of malaria and parasitic diseases to the medical officers of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to medical experts from developing countries. Among our social contributions we devote to grow up young researchers from Thai, Uganda, India, Bangladesh and so on. Furthermore, we transfer our discovery concerning drugs and vaccines against protozoa or parasites to licensing or getting patents.

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1. Imai T, Ishida H, Suzue K, Hirai M, Taniguchi T, Okada H, Suzuki T, Shimokawa C, and Hisaeda H: CD8+ T cell activation by murine erythroblasts infected with malaria parasites. Sci. Rep. 3: 1572, 2013.

2. Duan X, Imai T, Chou B, Tu L, Himeno K, Suzue K, Hirai M, Taniguchi T, Okada H, Shimokawa C, and Hisaeda H: Resistance to malaria by enhanced phagocytosis of erythrocytes in LMP7-deficient mice. PLoS One 8: e59633, 2013.

3. Ishida H, Imai T, Suzue K, Hirai M, Taniguchi T, Yoshimura A, Iwakura Y, Okada H, Suzuki T, Shimokawa C, and Hisaeda H: IL-23 protection against Plasmodium berghei infection in mice is partially dependent on IL-17 from macrophages. Eur. J. Immunol. 43: 2696-2706, 2013.

4. Shimokawa C, Culleton R, Imai T, Suzue K, Hirai M, Taniguchi T, Kobayashi S, Hisaeda H, and Hamano S: Species-specific immunity induced by infection with Entamoeba histoytica and Entamoeba moshkovskii in mice. PLoS One 8: e82025, 2013.

5. Moriya-Matsuzaki C, Tu L, Ishida H, Imai T, Suzue K, Hirai M, Tetsutani K, Hamano S, Shimokawa C, and Hisaeda H: A critical role for phagocytosis in resistance to malaria in iron-deficient mice. Eur. J. Immunol. 41: 1365-1375, 2011.

6. Ishida H, Matsuzaki-Moriya C, Imai T, Yanagisawa K, Nojime Y, Suzue K, Hirai M, Iwakura Y, Yoshimura A, Hamano S, Shimokawa C, and Hisaeda H: Development of experimental cerebral malaria is independent of IL-23 and IL-17. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 402: 790-795, 2010.

7. Imai T, Shen J, Chou B, Duan X, Tu L, Tetsutani K, Moriya C, Ishida H, Hamano S, Shimokawa C, Hisaeda H, and Himeno K: Involvement of CD8+ T cells in protective immunity against murine blood-stage infection with Plasmodium yoelii 17XL strain. Eur. J. Immunol. 40: 1053-1061,2010.

8. Tu L, Moriya C, Imai T, Ishida H, Tetsutani K, Duan X, Murata S, Tanaka K, Shimokawa C, Hisaeda H, and Himeno K: Critical role for immunoproteasome subunit LMP7 in the resistance of mice to Toxoplasma gondii infection. ?Eur. J. Immunol. 39:3385-3394, 2009.

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1996 Department of Parasitology was separated from Department of Hygiene, Dr. Toshisada SAWADA became the first professor.
1976 Professor SAWADA retired.
1976 Dr. Mamoru SUZUKI became the second professor.
2003 Prof. SUZUKI became the President of Gunma University
2004 Dr. Tomoyoshi NOZAKI became the third professor.
2008 Prof. NOZAKI moved to the National Institutes of Infectious Diseases.
2010 Dr. Hajime HISAEDA became the fourth professor.
2017 Prof. Hajime HISAEDA moved to the National Institutes of Infectious Diseases.