Dr. Tomabu Adjobimey
tomabuadjobi @ hotmail.com
+49  (0)228 287 - 16384


One of the fascinating properties of helminth parasites is their capacity to manipulate their host’s immune system to guarantee their own survival. Their evasion strategies have evolved during centuries of adaptation to reach levels near perfection. In addition of supporting parasite survival, helminth-induced immunoregulatory mechanisms profoundly impact the “immunophysiopathology” of other infections.

Our Group is undertaking fundamental research into the mechanisms of parasite induced immune tolerance and how these can be modulated by co-infections and additional immune activation.

We are interested in understanding how T cell subsets and B cells, central effectors of adaptive immune responses interact in the context of helminth infections and how this contributes to the decision towards tolerance, immunity or pathology. Towards this goal, we dissect the cellular and molecular interactions that lead to the production and secretion of the non cytolytic antibody IgG4 and how this immunoregulated phenotype is modulated by additional innate signals like Toll and NOD receptors activation.

Our recent findings suggest that, strong parasite specific Th2 responses combined with robust parasite-independent Th17 polarization in the absence of adequate immune regulation is associated with hyper-responsive sever forms of human onchocerciasis.

We have also unraveled new Treg: B cells conversations, involving IL-10, TGF-beta and GITR and GITRL signaling and have demonstrated that Tregs cells can suppress B cells activation and differentiation into plasma cells, while modulating their antibody secretion. This suppression of B cells by Tregs leads to the preferential secretion of IgG4 and is reversed by TLR-ligands triggering of the B cells, which in turn convert Foxp3+ Treg cells into Foxp3+ IL-17 secreting T cells.

Our research interest also encompasses the investigation of how engagement of FcyR by IgG/IgG4 –Antigen immune complexes impacts activation of effector cells such as eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils.

We believe that the elucidation of how helminths manipulate immune cells will in the future provide us with new tools to promote novel therapeutical strategies to control immunopathology, not only in parasitic infections, but also in allergies and other inflammatory disorders.