Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine

Professor David W Taylor

David Taylor graduated in Zoology (Southampton) in 1973 and completed his PhD (Cambridge) on Antigenic variation in African trypanosomes in 1977.

During the years 1977 to 1979 he did postdoc studies at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC working on antigenic analysis of schistosomes at the Department of Immunoparasitology, National Naval Medical Centre, Bethesda Md, USA.  He returned to Cambridge in 1979 to extend his work to the immunology and pathogenesis of schistomsomiasis. In 1986, he was appointed University Lecturer in Parasitology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge and between1991 and 1992 was a visiting Professor of Parasitology, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

In October 1994 he was appointed Professor of Tropical Animal Health and Director of the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Edinburgh, and was seconded to the International Livestock Research Institution, Nairobi, Kenya, from September 2000 to August 2003.

Professor Taylor is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool.

Research Focus

In 1981 Professor Taylor began work on Onchocerca volvulus, the causative agent of river blindness with the long term aim of developing a vaccine. This work combined human studies (Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Ghana and Togo) with experimentation in animal models aimed at identification of the mechanisms of protective immunity and identification of the target antigens (vaccine candidates). From the onset, this has been a collaborative project that began with the Natural History Museum Paris (Odile Bain) on the Litomosoides sigmodontis/mouse model and the University of Liverpool (Sandy Trees) with the O chengi/cattle model. More recent investigations with Ben Makepeace (Liverpool) and Mark Blaxter (Edinburgh) have used genomics and proteomics to identify 5 parasite antigens that proved efficacious in mouse vaccination experiments. Current work is aimed at taking at least 2 of these antigens to Phase II human trials by 2020 (www.riverblindnessvaccinetova.org).

In parallel with the vaccine work, the research programme also demonstrated the efficacy and feasibility of using doxycycline for treatment and control onchocerciasis in communities in which the eye worm is co-endemic and where ivermectin (drug of choice), cannot be used because of risk of severe adverse reactions. This programme has been supported by successive EU contracts since 1984.

The next phase of the onchocerciasis field studies will involve assessment of immune responses in pre-school children. This work links with an ongoing collaboration with Francisca Mutapti (Edinburgh) which is also concerned with the pathogenesis of Schistosoma haematobium infections in children.

Other academic interest include arthropod vector biology and natural history of vector borne diseases.

River Blindness Vaccine TOVA website

European Union Project - E PIAF, Enhanced Protective Immunity against Filariasis

Selected Publications

1. Juan F Quintana, Benjamin L Makepeace, Simon A Babayan, Alasdair Ivens, Kenneth M Pfarr, Mark Blaxter, Alexander Debrah, Samuel Wanji, Henrietta F Ngangyung, Germanus S Bah, Vincent N Tanya, David W Taylor, Achim Hoerauf, and Amy H Buck (2015) Extracellular Onchocerca-derived small RNAs in host nodules and blood Parasit Vectors. 2015; 8(1): 58. Published online 2015 Jan 27. doi: 10.1186/s13071-015-0656-1 PMCID: PMC4316651

2. Peter J Hotez, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Bin Zhan, Benjamin L Makepeace, Thomas R Klei, David Abraham, David W Taylor, Sara Lustigman (2015) The Onchocerciasis Vaccine for Africa TOVA Initiative. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(1): e0003422. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003422

3. Katawa G, Layland LE , Debrah AY, Batsa L, Kwarteng A, Taylor DW, Specht S, Hoerauf A and Adjobimey T (2014) Hyperreactive Onchocerciasis is Characterized by a Combination of Th17-Th2 Immune Responses and Reduced Regulatory T cells. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Jan 8;9(1):e3414.

4. Armstrong SD, Babayan SA, Lhermitte-Vallarino N, Gray N, Xia D, Martin C, Kumar S, Taylor DW, Blaxter ML, Wastling JM, Makepeace BL. (2014) Comparative analysis of the secretome from a model filarial nematode (Litomosoides sigmodontis) reveals maximal diversity in gravid female parasites.Mol Cell Proteomics 13(10):2527-44. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M114.038539. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

5. Babayan SA, HongLin L, Grey N, Taylor DW and Allen JE (2012) A vaccine that targets parasite immune suppressors and manipulates host immunity reduces infections and blocks transmission PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 6: e1968

6. Babayan SA, Allen JE, Taylor DW.(2012) Future prospects and challenges of vaccines against filariasis. Parasite Immunol;34(5):243-53

7. Wanji S, Tendongfor N, Nji T, Esum M, Che JN, Nkwescheu A, Alassa F, Kamnang G, Enyong PA, Taylor MJ, Hoerauf A, Taylor DW. (2009) Community-directed delivery of doxycycline for the treatment of onchocerciasis in areas of co-endemicity with loiasis in Cameroon. Parasit Vectors. 2: 39

8. Rujeni N, Nausch N, Midzi N, Cowan GJ, Burchmore R, Cavanagh DR, Taylor DW, Mduluza T, Mutapi F. (2013) Immunological consequences of antihelminthic treatment in preschool children exposed to urogenital schistosome infection. J Trop Med. 2013: 283619.

Rujeni N, Nausch N, Midzi N, Gwisai R, Mduluza T, Taylor DW, Mutapi F. (2013) Soluble CD23 levels are inversely associated with atopy and parasite-specific IgE levels but not with polyclonal IgE levels in people exposed to helminth infection. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 161: 333-41.

9. Rujeni N, Taylor DW, Mutapi F (2012) Human schistosome infection and allergic sensitisation. J Parasitol Res 2012;2012:154743

10. Rujeni N, Nausch N, Bourke CD, Midzi N, Mduluza T, Taylor DW, Mutapi F. (2012) Atopy is inversely related to schistosome infection intensity: a comparative study in Zimbabwean villages with distinct levels of Schistosoma haematobium infection. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 158(3):288-98.

11. Allen JE, Adjei O, Bain O, Hoerauf A, Hoffmann WH, Makepeace BL, Schulz-Key H, Tanya VN, Trees AJ, Wanji S, Taylor DW. Of mice, cattle, and humans: the immunology and treatment of river blindness. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2008