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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Cinzia Cantacessi

Dr Cinzia  Cantacessi

Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Parasitology

Cinzia Cantacessi is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 760541


I completed my Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the University of Bari (Italy) in 2006, with a thesis on the life cycle of the 'oriental eyeworm', Thelazia callipaeda, under the supervision of Professor Domenico Otranto. I then moved to Australia, where, I completed a PhD in Molecular Parasitology at The University of Melbourne (2011) under the guidance of Professor Robin Gasser, focusing on studies of the fundamental biology of helminth parasites using high-throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatics. In 2012, I was honoured to receive a Peter Doherty Early Career Research Fellowship by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia to continue my research on the molecular bases of host-parasite interactions in the laboratory of Professor Alex Loukas at James Cook University in Cairns. In 2013, I moved to the Cambridge Vet School where I continue my research on mechanisms of host-parasite interactions using cutting-edge molecular tools.

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:
Mathematical Biology:

Research Interests

My current research focus is the application of next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics to the study of developmental regulation in parasites of human and veterinary health importance, as well as of host-parasite relationships, with a particular emphasis on the interactions between gastrointestinal, soil-transmitted helminths of humans (e.g. hookworms, whipworms, roundworms) and the gut microbiota of their vertebrate hosts. My research interests also include fundamental explorations of parasite biology, particularly focusing on gastropod-borne helminths and canine vector-borne parasites. 




  • Geohelminths
  • Microbiome
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Transcriptomics
  • Canine vector-borne diseases
  • Bioinformatics
  • Infectious Diseases

Key Publications

Most recent publications

  1. Nolan M.J., Cantacessi C., Cutmore S.C., Cribb T.H., Miller T.L., 2016: High-intensity cardiac infections of Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) in the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Parasitology International, in press.
  2. Latrofa M.S., Dantas-Torres F., de Caprariis D., Cantacessi C., Capelli G., Lia R.P., Breitschwerdt E.B., Otranto D., 2016: Vertical transmission of Anaplasma platys and Leishmania infantum in dogs during the first half of gestation. Parasites & Vectors, in press.
  3. Susilawati T.N., Jex A.R., Cantacessi C., Pearson M.S., Navarro S., Susianto A., Loukas A., McBride W.J.H., 2016: Deep sequencing approach for investigating infectious cause of fever. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, in press.
  4. Cantacessi C., Giannelli A., Colella V., Dantas-Torres F., Otranto D., 2016: Gastropod-borne helminths: a look at the snail-parasite interplay. Trends in Parasitology, 32: 255-64.  
  5. Chaiyadet S., Sotillo J., Smout M., Cantacessi C., Jones M.K., Johnson M.S., Turnbull L., Whitchurch C.B., Potriquet J., Laohaviroj M., Mulvenna J., Brindley P., Bethony J.M., Laha T., Sripa B., Loukas A., 2015: Carcinogenic liver fluke secretes extracellular vesicles that promote cholangiocytes to adopt a tumorigenic phenotype. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212: 1636-45.