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Annemieke SMET

Pubmed Publications List

Title: Prof. Dr. Ir.
Current position: Assistant professor (tenure track)
Place of work:

Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics (LEMP),
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
University of Antwerp
Universiteitsplein 1,
2610 Wilrijk (Antwerp), Belgium



  • 2002: Bachelor degree in Bioscience Engineering, University of Ghent, Belgium

  • 2005: Master degree in Bioscience Engineering, cell and gene biotechnology, University of Ghent, Belgium

  • 2010: PhD in Veterinary Sciences, University of Ghent, Belgium


Post-graduate training

  • 2009: Felasa C, laboratory animal sciences, University of Ghent, Belgium

  • 2014-2015: Bioinformatics training, University of Ghent, Belgium

Academic appointments

  • 2010-2016: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium

  • 2017-present: Research Professor (tenure track, 100%), Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics (LEMP), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium

  • 2011-present: Promotor of 5 defended PhDs and 3 ongoing PhDs



  • 2007: Award for best poster; Belgium Society for Microbiology (BSM) symposium “Evolution in the microbial world”.

  • 2010: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) attendance grant for participation at the 9th International Workshop on pathogenesis and host response in Helicobacter infections, Helsingor, Denmark.

  • 2015: FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) grant for a research stay at the Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases, Research and Training, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.


Society and Committee membership

  • 2007-2009: membership of the Belgian Society for Microbiology (BSM)

  • 2010-2012: membership of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious diseases (ESCMID)

  • 2017-present: membership of the Belgian Helicobacter and Microbiota Study group (BeHMSG)

  • 2017-present: membership of the European Crohn and Colitis organization (ECCO)

  • 2018-present: membership of the Antwerp University ethical board for laboratory animal experiments


Research interest

My current research focusses on the role of host mucin signalling in inflammation-induced gastrointestinal mucosal barrier disruption and subsequent disease development, in particular Helicobacter-related gastric cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, with the aim to identify novel treat-to-target strategies and biomarkers. Furthermore, the role of the mucosa-associated microbiota in relation to barrier dysfunction and how a disturbed gastrointestinal mucosal barrier impacts on brain barrier integrity and homeostasis thereby affecting the gut-brain axis will be taken into account as well. This is being approached by in vitro and in vivo models and a translational set-up. Besides, I’m also interested in the evolutionary dynamics of Helicobacter genomes from species of different hosts (animals and humans). This has already led to a large genomic study published in a high-ranked peer reviewed journal unveiling  interspecies genetic exchange and time of divergence among gastric Helicobacter species.


Books published

1 book chapter:

Flahou B, Haesebrouck F, Smet A. Significance of gastric and enterohepatic non-Helicobacter pylori Helicobacter infections in humans and animals. 2016. Book: Helicobacter pylori research: from bench to bedside, Springer Japan, pp 233-269.


  • N° of publications on Pubmed: 71

  • N° of publications on ResearcherID: 87

  • Web of Science h-index: 18

  • Google Scholar h-index: 22

  • N° of citations: 1033 (Web of Science); 1681 (Google Scholar)

10 best publications on Helicobacter:

  • 1. Smet A, Yahara K, Rossi M, Tay A, Backert S, Armin E, Fox JG, Flahou B, Ducatelle R, Haesebrouck F, Corander J. 2018. Macroevolution of gastric Helicobacter species unveils interspecies admixture and time of divergence. ISME journal, doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0199-5.

  • 2. Gorlé N, Blaecher C, Bauwens E, Vandendriessche C, Balusu S, Vandewalle J, Van Cauwenberghe C, Van Wonterghem E, Van Imschoot G, Liu C, Ducatelle R, Libert C, Haesebrouck F*, Smet A*, Vandenbroucke RE*. 2018. The choroid plexus epithelium as a novel player in the stomach-brain axis during Helicobacter infection. Brain Behavior and Immunity 69:35-47. (* equal contribution)

  • 3. Flahou B, Rossi M, Bakker J, Langermans J, Heuvelman E, Solnick J, Martin M, O'Rourke J, Ngoan L, Hoa N, Nakamura M, Øverby A, Matsui H, Ota H, Matsumoto T, Foss D, Kopta L, Omotosho O, Franciosini MP, Proietti PC, Guo A, Liu H, Borilova G, Bracarense AP, Lindén SL, De Bruyckere S, Zhang G, De Witte C, Smet A, Pasmans F, Ducatelle R, Corander J, Haesebrouck F. 2018. Evidence for a primate origin of zoonotic Helicobacter suis colonizing domesticated pigs. ISME journal. 12:77-86.

  • 4. De Witte C, Devriendt B, Flahou B, Bosschem I, Ducatelle R, Smet A*, Haesebrouck F*. 2017. Helicobacter suis induces changes in gastric inflammation and acid secretion markers in pigs of different ages. Veterinary Research, 48:34. *equal contribution

  • 5. Blaecher C, Bauwens E, Tay A, Peters F, Dobbs S, Dobbs J, Charlet A, Ducatelle R, Haesebrouck F, Smet A. 2017. A novel isolation protocol and probe-based RT-PCR for diagnosis of gastric infections with the zoonotic pathogen Helicobacter suis. Helicobacter, 22:e12369.

  • 6. Liu C, Rossi M, Linden S, Padra M, Blaecher C, Bauwens E, Joosten M,Flahou B, Van den Broeck W, Ducatelle R, Haesebrouck F, Smet A. 2016. The H. heilmannii hofE and hofF genes are essential for colonization of the gastric mucosa and are involved in IL-1β-induced gastric MUC13 expression. Helicobacter,21(6):504-522.

  • 7. De Bruyne E, Ducatelle R, Foss D, Joosten M, Zhang G, Smet A, Pasmans F, Haesebrouck F, Flahou B. 2016. Oral glutathione supplementation drastically reduces Helicobacter induced gastric pathologies. Scientific reports, 6, 20169.

  • 8. Joosten M, Lindén S, Rossi M, Tay A, Skoog E, Padra M, Thirriot F, Perkins T, Vandamme P, Van Nieuwerburg F, Flahou B, Deforce D, Ducatelle R, Marshall B, Haesebrouck F and Smet A. 2015. Divergence between the highly virulent zoonotic pathogen Helicobacter heilmannii and its closest relative, the low-virulence Helicobacter ailurogastricus sp. nov. Infection and Immunity, 84:293-306.

  • 9. Smet A*, Blaecher C*, Flahou B, Pasmans F, Ducatelle R, Taylor D, Weller C, Bjarnason I, Charlett A, Lawson AJ, Dobbs RJ, Dobbs SM, Haesebrouck F. 2013. Significantly higher frequency of Helicobacter suis in patients with idiopathic parkinsonism than in control patients. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 38:1347-1353. *equally contributed

  • 10. Smet A*, Liu C*, Blaecher C, Flahou B, Ducatelle R, Linden S, Haesebrouck F. 2014. Gastric de novo Muc13 expression and spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia during Helicobacter heilmannii infection. Infection and Immunity, 82:3227-3239. *equally contributed


Editorial boards

Peer referee of international scientific journals:

  • Scientific Reports; PeerJ; FEMS Letters; Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; Gut Pathogens; Helicobacter; Infection and Immunity; BMC Genomics; Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy; Veterinary Research; Plos one; Veterinary Microbiology; New England Journal of Medicine, etc.


Pubmed Link:

ResearcherID: M-9295-2017


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