Colin Thalhofer

  • B.S., Biology, Gonzaga University
Date left program: 
Degree received: 
Date Ph.D. awarded: 
May, 2011

Host immune responses to Leishmania chagasi infection

Mary Wilson, M.D.

When humans are infected with Leishmania chagasi the outcome of infection is primarily determined by the host immune response. Individuals that clear the infection successfully generate a Th1 immune response against the parasite, where as enhanced parasite survival and disease progression is seen in individuals that fail to mount a Th1 response. The host immune factors that augment or inhibit the generation of a L. chagasi-specific Th1 response are not well understood. My research involves developing an animal model using luciferase-expressing parasites to visualize the L. chagasi infection in vivo. Using this model and other tools, I am beginning to study the host immune factors that regulate L. chagasi infection during parasite dissemination, survival, and clearance.


Thalhofer CJ, Chen Y, Sudan B, Love-Homan L, Wilson ME. Leukocytes infiltrate the skin and draining lymph nodes in response to the protozoan Leishmania infantum chagasi. Infect Immun. 2011 Jan;79(1):108-17. Epub 2010 Oct 11. PubMed PMID: 20937764; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3019875.

Thalhofer CJ, Graff JW, Love-Homan L, Hickerson SM, Craft N, Beverley SM, Wilson ME. In vivo imaging of transgenic Leishmania parasites in a live host. J Vis Exp. 2010 Jul 27;(41). Pii: 1980. doi: 10.3791/1980. PubMed PMID: 20689512.

Chang HK, Thalhofer C, Duerkop BA, Mehling JS, Verma S, Gollob KJ, Almeida R, Wilson ME. Oxidant generation by single infected monocytes after short-term fluorescence labeling of a protozoan parasite. Infect Immun. 2007 Feb;75(2):1017-24. Epub 2006 Nov 21. PubMed PMID: 17118986; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC1828521.

Postdoctoral Research Scientist