Group Of Molecular Parasitology (GEPAMOL)
Armenia, Quindio, Colombia
Phone/Fax: 57-67-359300 ext 392
GEPAMOL is a multidisciplinary research group dedicated to the study of:
Intestinal parasites (Giardiasis and Helminthiasis)
The group work in the “CIBM” (Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas) a lab facility of 370m2 of surface with cell culture rooms, cytometer, real time PCR, immunochemical, biochemistry and molecular biology sections.
Recent Resultd and activities of the group
a. We developed a molecular method to detect protozoa in water (Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, Blastocytis). Currently we work in the application of that method to detect viable forms by measuring RNAm amounts that would determine their infectivity (financed by Colciencias).
b. We performed the national multicentric newborn screening program in Colombia that determined the frequency of congenital toxoplasmosis in 15,000 newborns from seven cities of four different natural regions.
c. In congenital toxoplasmosis we validated clinically the avidity result in newborns as a new criteria for early diagnosis of congenital infection, increasing the number of children that can be detected before the three months of life
d. In ocular toxoplasmosis we discovered recently that severe ocular inflammatory reactions are linked to infection with strains harboring the virulent allele of ROP18 gen of Toxoplasma.
Also in collaboration with the University of Strasbourg we found that ocular infection is more severe in Colombian than in French patients and this was linked to the infecting strain of Toxoplasma and with a different cytokine profile
d. We identified biochemical signatures for adhesion proteins in Toxoplasma that was the basis for the development of a new software
Areas of interest: The host parasite immunologicalrelation and the parasite mechanisms of invasion. He is responsible of the toxoplasmosis clinical consultation (once a week) and the direction of thesis work and teaching in parasitology and microbiology at the master course in Biomedical Sciences.
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PROFESSOR (Faculty of Health Sciences)
Alejandra de la Torre MD, PhD
Fabiana María Lora MSc PhD.
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Aylan Arenas Msc,PhD
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Msc,PhD. Néstor Iván Cardona MSc
Specific research topics:
Toxoplasmosis: epidemiological studies, the evaluation of control strategies for congenital toxoplasmosis. The study of clinical and epidemiological aspects of ocular form and the evaluation of new diagnostic tools. We are particularly interested in the molecular characterization of Toxoplasma strains.
Giardiosis: Epidemiological studies, surveillance in water and strain characterization.
GEPAMOL have exchange of information, material and common projects with the University of Chicago (Dr Rima McLeod and Dr Kamal Elbisati) University of California Davis (Dr Karen Shapiro), Institut de Parasitologie et de Pathologie Tropicale, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France: Univeristy of California Davis (Dr Jeroen Saeij); Universite de Grenoble (Dr. Corinne Mercier) and Laboratoire de Pathologie Exotique Lyon France and IFR53 Biomolecules of the University of Reims,