Research, with international collaborators, has revolutionised understanding of the biology of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, revealing remarkable subspecific diversity, population structures, molecular ecology, molecular epidemiology, and proving experimentally its extant capacity for genetic exchange. Peptide-based, lineage-specific serology has been developed to investigate the link between T. cruzi infection history and clinical presentation. For Leishmania molecular methods have been applied to analyse the structure of natural populations, implicating dogs as a reservoir host of L. donovani in Sudan. Transgenic L. donovani fluorescent hybrid progeny were visualised in infected sand flies. Analysis of L. donovani antigenic diversity and host immune response has been applied to the improvement of diagnosis and to devise a prototype rapid diagnostic test (RDT) to detect relapse after chemotherapy, with the commercial collaborator CorisBioConCept.
As PI and coordinator, extensive international collaborative research networks were built: ChagasEpiNet (15 partners) and LeishEpiNetSA (12 partners). Many PhD (>30) students supervised.
More than 220 research publications are listed in PubMed, with others in South American literature. ‘Decorated’ by the President of Brazil (Grão Cruz, Order of Scientific Merit), for research and control of South American trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis.