Prof. Marcel Hommel
Emeritus Professor of the University of Liverpool
Editor-in-Chief, Malaria Journal
After a medical degree in France in 1973 and a PhD in the U.K. in 1977, Marcel Hommel worked as a research scientist in the National Institute for Medical Research in London, the Institut Pasteur in Paris, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In 1986, he was appointed to the Alfred Jones and Warrington Yorke Chair of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, where he remained for over twenty years. 
He worked on the immunology, pathophysiology and diagnosis of various parasitological diseases, including malaria and visceral leishmaniasis.His research group was the first to describe antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum, which later lead to a better understanding of the role of sequestration in the pathophysiology of cerebral malaria. During his career, he supervised the studies of 36 PhD students from many parts of the world and initiated a number of innovative training programmes on malaria.
Prof. Hommel founded Malaria Journal in 2002 and has been its Editor-in-Chief ever since; every year, the journal publishes 500+ peer-reviewed papers on all aspects of malaria.

WATCH HIS LECTURE  >  Diagnosis of Malaria

MAJOR SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS

  • Diagnostic Methods in Malaria

    Hommel M.In: “Essential Malariology, 4th Edition” (EdsWarrell DA, Gilles HM), 2002; Chapt 3: 5-58
    Essential Malariology, Fourth Edition is a concise and practical handbook that covers all aspects of malaria from a clinical perspective - its control, prevention and treatment. This edition has been thoroughly updated and contains brand new chapters on malaria in children, malaria in pregnancy, and vaccines. Incorporated throughout are the latest research into, and understanding of, molecular biology, and the latest diagnostic techniques. In addition, new colour plates and figures are included to complement the text.

  • Alternative Polymerase Chain Reaction Method to Identify Plasmodium Species in Human Blood Samples: the Semi-nested Multiplex Malaria PCR (SnM-PCR)

    Rubio JM, Post RJ, Docters van Leeuwen WM, Henry MC, Lindergard G, Hommel M.Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2002; 96 Suppl1: S199-204
    Abstract
    A simplified protocol for the identification of Plasmodium species by semi-nested multiplex polymerase chain reaction (SnM-PCR) in human blood samples is compared with microscopical examination of thin and thick blood films in 2 field trials in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. Also, dried blood spots or liquid blood collected from Dutch soldiers returning from Goma, Zaire (n = 141), Angola (n = 40), and from Marechaussee (Dutch border police) returning from various parts of the world (n = 161) were examined, together with miscellaneous other material obtained from laboratories and hospitals. The method is based on features of the small subunit nuclear ribosomal ribonucleic acid (RNA) gene (ssrDNA), a multicopy gene which possesses both highly conserved domains and domains characteristic for each of the 4 human malaria parasites. The first reaction of the SnM-PCR includes a universal reverse primer with 2 forward primers specific for Plasmodium and mammals, respectively. The mammalian-specific primer was included as a positive control to distinguish uninfected cases from simple PCR failures. The second PCR reaction includes a Plasmodium-specific forward primer plus species-specific reverse primers for P. vivax, P. ovale, P. falciparum and P. malariae. The technique worked better with samples collected in the field as dried blood spots on filter paper and heparinized blood rather than with frozen pelleted blood; it was more sensitive and more specific than the standard microscopical examination.

  • Latex Agglutination Test for the Detection of Urinary Antigens in Visceral Leishmaniasis

    Attar ZJ, Chance ML, El-Safi S, Carney J, Azazy A, El-Hadi M, Dourado C, Hommel M.Acta Trop. 2001; 78(1): 11-6
    Abstract
    This paper describes a new latex agglutination test ('KATEX') for the detection of leishmanial antigen in the urine of patients with visceral leishmaniasis. In preliminary laboratory trials, using urine collected from well-defined cases and controls from Brazil, Yemen and Nepal, the test had 100% specificity and a sensitivity between 68 and 100%. When used in a time-course experiment in cotton rats infected with Leishmania donovani, the test became positive 1 week after inoculation and antigen levels in urine declined rapidly after chemotherapy (the test was negative before the end of the course of treatment). Finally, in an integrated study performed in Sudan, KATEX was compared to microscopy and four different serological tests in a group of 73 patients having presented with clinical manifestations suggestive of visceral leishmaniasis. Compared to microscopy, KATEX performed better than any single serological test in predicting positivity and a particularly good result was obtained by combining KATEX and the direct agglutination test(DAT).

  • Small, Clonally Variant Antigens Expressed on the Surface of the Plasmodium Falciparum-infected Erythrocyte are Encoded by the Rif Gene Family and are the Target of Human Immune Responses

    Fernandez V, Hommel M, Chen Q, Hagblom P, Wahlgren M.J Exp Med. 1999; 190(10): 1393-404
    Abstract
    Disease severity in Plasmodium falciparum infections is a direct consequence of the parasite's efficient evasion of the defense mechanisms of the human host. To date, one parasite-derived molecule, the antigenically variant adhesin P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), is known to be transported to the infected erythrocyte (pRBC) surface, where it mediates binding to different host receptors. Here we report that multiple additional proteins areexpressed by the parasite at the pRBC surface, including a large cluster of clonally variantantigens of 30-45 kD. We have found these antigens to be identical to the rifins, predicted polypeptides encoded by the rif multigene family. These parasite products, formerly called rosettins after their identification in rosetting parasites, are prominently expressed by fresh isolates of P. falciparum. Rifins are immunogenic in natural infections and strain-specifically recognized by human immune sera in immunoprecipitation of surface-labeled pRBC extracts. Furthermore, human immune sera agglutinate pRBCs digested with trypsin at conditions such that radioiodinated PfEMP1 polypeptides are not detected but rifins are detected, suggesting the presence of epitopes in rifins targeted by agglutinating antibodies. When analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis, the rifins resolved into several isoforms in the pI range of 5.5-6.5, indicating molecular microheterogeneity, an additional potential novel source of antigenic diversity in P. falciparum. Prominent polypeptides of 20, 22, 76-80, 140, and 170 kD were also detected on the surfaces of pRBCs bearing in vitro-propagated or field-isolated parasites. In this report, we describe the rifins, the second family of clonally variant antigens known to be displayed by P. falciparum on the surface of the infected erythrocyte.

  • Can the Rapid Diagnostic Test ParaSight-F be Used for the Diagnosis of Falciparum Malaria in Nepal?

    Sherchand JB, Hommel M.J Inst Med. 1999; 21: 201-6

  • Malaria

    Hommel M, Gilles HM.In: “Topley & Wilson’s Microbiology and Microbial Infections, 9th Edition”, 1997; Vol 5, Chapt 20: 361-409

  • Immunology of Malaria

    Hommel M.In: “Handbook of Malaria Infection in the Tropics”, (eds. Carosi G,Castelli F). Health Cooperation Papers, 1997; 15: 53-71

  • A Multiple Antigen Detection Dipstick Colloidal Dye Immunoassay for the Field Diagnosis of Trypanosome Infections in Cattle

    Kashiwazaki Y, Snowden K, Smith DH, Hommel M.Vet Parasitol. 1994; 55(1-2): 57-69.
    Abstract
    Monoclonal antibodies (McAbs) were developed against aspartate aminotransferase purified from Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense bloodstream form (bf) soluble extracts using a combination of anion-exchange and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. McAb 1A1 was Trypanozoon and Nannomonas specific while 2F1 was Trypanozoon bloodstream form specific. A dipstick colloidaldye immunoassay (DIA) was employed as a field diagnostic test for African trypanosomeinfections and designed using affinity purified polyclonal antibodies (PcAbs) raised against T. b. rhodesiense bf and the two McAbs, 1A1 and 2F1. PcAbs were adsorbed onto Palanil Red dyeparticles and used as dye reagents. Dipsticks were dotted with the three different antibodies, which captured trypanosomal antigens in samples tested, while the dye reagent bound to the captured antigens; the presence of coloured dots on the dipstick identified trypanosomeinfections. A field trial of the DIA was carried out in southeastern Uganda. A total of 1686 cattlefrom seven areas were bled and tested by DIA and haematocrit centrifuge technique (HCT). A total of 798 cattle (47.3%) were found to be trypanosomal antigen positive by DIA while only 162 (9.6%) were revealed to harbour trypanosomes by HCT, of which 151 (93%) were also positive by DIA.

  • Mixed Infections with Plasmodium Falciparum and P. Malariae and Fever in Malaria

    Black J, Hommel M, Snounou G, Pinder M.Lancet, 1994; 343(8905): 1095

  • Intravenous Immunoglobulin in the Treatment of Paediatric Cerebral Malaria

    Taylor TE, Molyneux ME, Wirima JJ, Borgstein A, Goldring JD, Hommel M.Clin Exp Immunol. 1992; 90(3): 357-62
    Abstract
    Hyperimmune globulin can inhibit and reverse the cytoadherence between Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes and melanoma cells in vitro. Cytoadherence is believed to mediate disease in cerebral malaria. Therefore we studied the efficacy of i.v. immunoglobulin, purified from the plasma of local semi-immune blood donors, as an adjunct to standard treatmentfor cerebral malaria in Malawian children. The immunoglobulin preparation (IFAT antimalarial antibody titre 1:5120) recognized erythrocyte-associated antigens of each of 22 Malawian P. falciparum isolates studied, and reversed binding of Malawian isolates to melanoma cells.Immunoglobulin did not reverse binding to human monocytes or to cells of the human histiocytic lymphoma cell line U937. Thirty-one children with P. falciparum parasitaemia and unrousable coma were enrolled. All were treated with i.v. quinine dihydrochloride; in addition patients were randomized to receive either immunoglobulin (400 mg/kg by i.v. infusion over 3 h) or placebo (albumen and sucrose by similar infusion) in a double blind trial with sequential analysis. Of 16 patients receiving immunoglobulin, five (31%) died and five survivors had neurological sequelae. Of 15 patients receiving placebo, one (7%) died and two had sequelae. Parasite clearance, fever clearance and coma resolution times in survivors were similar in the two groups. Although the difference in outcome between the two groups was not significant, the trial was stopped becauseimmunoglobulin was demonstrated not to be superior to placebo.

  • Antigen Detection Immunoassay Using Dipsticks and Colloidal Dyes

    Snowden K, Hommel M.J Immunol Methods. 1991; 140(1): 57-65
    Abstract
    A dipstick colloidal dye immunoassay (DIA) for multiple antigen detection is described. The test combines the concepts of double antibody (Ab) sandwich ELISA, dot blotting, and colloidal particle-linked Abs to produce a dipstick test for multiple antigen (Ag) detection. Dipsticks prepared from Ab coated nitrocellulose membrane mounted on acetate strips served as the assay capture matrix. Abs absorbed to colored dye particles from a family of commercially available textile dyes (Dye/Ab reagent) served as Ag detecting reagents. DIA and enzyme labelled dot blot assays showed similar Ag detection limits down to a sensitivity of 10 ng/ml. In a pilot study, an assay designed to detect species-specific IgG for use in mosquito bloodmeal identification demonstrated the feasibility of the technique. Experiments comparing bloodmeal analysis of mosquitoes using DIA and ELISA methods showed 100% agreement. This DIA method provides an inexpensive, simple, robust test for multiple Ag detection without instrumentation suitable for a wide variety of field applications. 

  • Tumor Necrosis Factor and Disease Severity in Children with Falciparum Malaria

    Grau GE, Taylor TE, Molyneux ME, Wirima JJ, Vassalli P, Hommel M, Lambert PH.N Engl J Med. 1989; 320(24): 1586-91
    Abstract
    To investigate the role of tumor necrosis factor in Plasmodium falciparum infections, we measured serum concentrations of this cytokine in 65 Malawian children with severe falciparum malaria. Of these children (mean age, 5.3 years), 55 were unconscious and 10 had hypoglycemia at presentation. Although there was considerable overlap, the mean (+/- SEM) initial serum concentration of tumor necrosis factor was significantly higher in the 10 patients who died (709 +/- 312 pg per milliliter) than in the 55 who survived (184 +/- 32 pg per milliliter; P less than 0.02). The mortality rate increased with the concentration of tumor necrosis factor: at a level of less than 100 pg per milliliter, 1 of 24 patients died; at 100 to 500 pg per milliliter, 6 of 34 patients; and at more than 500 pg per milliliter, 3 of 7 patients. High concentrations of tumor necrosis factor were also associated with hypoglycemia (P less than 0.02), hyperparasitemia (P less than 0.002), age under three years (P less than 0.03), and severity of illness as measured by a prognostic index (P less than 0.0005). The highest serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor were found in patients who died shortly after admission. The concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid were within the normal range in all patients. In serum samples obtained from 38 convalescent patients, the concentration of tumor necrosis factor declined to a mean of 16 +/- 3 pg per milliliter. We conclude that the level of tumor necrosis factor is frequently increased in patients with severe falciparum malaria, particularly in those with cerebral malaria or hypoglycemia. To determine whether it is important in the pathogenesis of the signs and symptoms of the disease requires further study.

  • The Role of Variant Antigens in Acquired Immunity to Plasmodium Falciparum

    Hommel M.Ann Soc Belg Med Trop. 1985; 65, Suppl 2: 57-67

  • Parasite Sequestration in Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria: Spleen and Antibody Modulation of Cytoadherence of Infected Erythrocytes

    David PH, Hommel M, Miller LH, Udeinya IJ, Oligino LD.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1983; 80(16): 5075-9
    Abstract
    Sequestration, the adherence of infected erythrocytes containing late developmental stages of theparasite (trophozoites and schizonts) to the endothelium of capillaries and venules, is characteristic of Plasmodium falciparum infections. We have studied two host factors, the spleenand antibody, that influence sequestration of P. falciparum in the squirrel monkey. Sequestrationof trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes that occurs in intact animals is reduced in splenectomized animals; in vitro, when infected blood is incubated with monolayers of human melanoma cells, trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes from intact animals but not from splenectomized animals bind to the melanoma cells. The switch in cytoadherence characteristics of the infected erythrocytes from nonbinding to binding occurs with a cloned parasite. Immune serum can inhibit and reverse in vitro binding to melanoma cells of infected erythrocytes from intact animals. Similarly, antibody can reverse in vivo sequestration as shown by the appearance of trophozoite/schizont-infected erythrocytes in the peripheral blood of an intact animal after inoculation with immune serum. These results indicate that the spleen modulates the expression of parasite alterations of the infected erythrocyte membrane responsible for sequestration and suggest that the prevention and reversal of sequestration could be one of the effector mechanisms involved in antibody-mediated protection against P. falciparum malaria.

  • Surface Alterations of Erythrocytes in Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria - Antigenic Variation, Antigenic Diversity, and the Role of the Spleen

    Hommel M, David PH, Oligino LD.J Exp Med. 1983; 157(4): 1137-48
    Abstract
    The surface of erythrocytes infected with late developmental stages of Plasmodium falciparum is profoundly altered and new antigenic determinants can be detected by surfaceimmunofluorescence using immune squirrel monkey serum. The expression of these parasite-specific antigenic determinants on the surface of the host erythrocyte can be modulated by the presence or absence of the spleen and by immune pressure. An antigenic switch occurred when a cloned population of the Ugandan Palo Alto strain of P. falciparum was transferred from a splenectomized into an intact monkey and this switch was reversible. In another strain (Indochina-1), we showed that the parasites isolated during secondary and recrudescent peaks expressed erythrocyte-associated surface antigens different from the parasites isolated during the primary infection; six variant antigenic types distinct from the original population were isolated in this way. The passive transfer of immune serum can induce antigenic variation and this can occur in a cloned parasite. The various mechanisms of antigenic variation in P. falciparum are discussed in the context of strain-specific diversity and the role of antigenic diversity in acquired immunity.

  • Surface Alterations of Erythrocytes in Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria - Antigenic Variation, Antigenic Diversity, and the Role of the Spleen

    Abstract The surface of erythrocytes infected with late developmental stages of Plasmodium falciparum is profoundly altered and new antigenic determinants can be detected by surfaceimmunofluorescence using immune squirrel monkey serum. TheJ Exp Med. 1983; 157(4): 1137-48
    Abstract
    The surface of erythrocytes infected with late developmental stages of Plasmodium falciparum is profoundly altered and new antigenic determinants can be detected by surfaceimmunofluorescence using immune squirrel monkey serum. The expression of these parasite-specific antigenic determinants on the surface of the host erythrocyte can be modulated by the presence or absence of the spleen and by immune pressure. An antigenic switch occurred when a cloned population of the Ugandan Palo Alto strain of P. falciparum was transferred from a splenectomized into an intact monkey and this switch was reversible. In another strain (Indochina-1), we showed that the parasites isolated during secondary and recrudescent peaks expressed erythrocyte-associated surface antigens different from the parasites isolated during the primary infection; six variant antigenic types distinct from the original population were isolated in this way. The passive transfer of immune serum can induce antigenic variation and this can occur in a cloned parasite. The various mechanisms of antigenic variation in P. falciparum are discussed in the context of strain-specific diversity and the role of antigenic diversity in acquired immunity.

  • Isolation of Malaria Merozoites: Release of Plasmodium Chabaudi Merozoites from Schizonts Bound to Immobilized Concanavalin A

    David PH, Hommel M, Benichou JC, Eisen HA, Pereira da Silva LH. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1978; 75(10): 5081-4
    Abstract
    The ability of concanavalin A to bind erythrocytes but not malarial parasites was used for the development of a method of merozoite isolation: cells from infected blood were allowed to bind to a column of concanavalin A linked to Sepharose beads and merozoites naturally released by maturation of the schizonts bound to the gel were collected. The principle of this method allows its application to several Plasmodium species. The kinetics of merozoite production and the quality of the preparations (purity, infectivity, and ultrastructural morphology) were investigated by using Plasmodium chabaudi.

  • The Micro-ELISA Technique in the Serodiagnosis of Visceral Leishmaniasis

    Hommel M, Peters W, Ranque J, Quilici M, Lanotte G.Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1978; 72(3): 213-18.
    Abstract
    The micro-scale Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (micro-ELISA) technique, with alkaline phosphatase as a marker enzyme, has been used for the serodiagnosis of human and caninevisceral leishmaniasis, from foci in southern France. This technique which uses a soluble antigen is highly sensitive, with a degree of specificity slightly higher than that of the IFA. It is suggested that the micro-ELISA procedure can be added to the battery of serological techniques and would be particularly useful for large scale epidemiological studies of leishmaniasis.

  • Find More Publications



    Do you have any questions

    or ideas to share?


     

    Send us a message

    Copyright Statement ©Guilin Pharmaceutical (Shanghai) Co.,Ltd.2015 ALL Rights Reserved.