Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology

Research on Pathogen Biology, Host-Pathogen Interaction and Immunity

In the Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, we explore the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pathogen survival, transmission and host-pathogen interaction. We investigate how host factors influence the response to infection and disease using various models of infection as well as clinical samples from human patients. By improving our understanding of these biological processes, we hope to contribute to the control of diseases of poverty such as malaria, tuberculosis, trypanosomiasis, dengue, Buruli ulcer and helminth infections.

Research on Pathogen Evolution and Transmission

We study how pathogens evolve to evade host immune mechanisms and develop resistance to anti-microbials, and how these phenomena influence the spread of these microbes. We apply various molecular epidemiological approaches to analyze infection and transmission dynamics, and monitor the effects of interventions such as transmission control, vaccination or drug treatment on the prevalence and population structure of these pathogens.

Development of Diagnostics, Drugs and Vaccines

We use our enhanced understanding of host-pathogen biology to develop new diagnostics, drug sensitivity assays, drugs and vaccines against these diseases. We evaluate new diagnostics, and perform both pre-clinical and clinical studies of novel treatments as well as of candidate antigens and antigen delivery systems for vaccine purposes. This work also includes the development of new animal models and controlled human infection models to assess novel interventions. These activities are carried it out in collaboration with many international institutions, including our long-term partners in endemic countries.


Sébastien Gagneux

Sébastien Gagneux, Associate Professor, PhD


Molecular Signatures can Predict the Efficacy of Malaria Vaccines

A new study reveals that it is possible to identify those individuals that will be protected by the malaria vaccine before its administration. The researchers also found that... More...


"It Is a Race Against Time." An Interview with Claudia Daubenberger on Establishing a Diagnostic Lab for Sars-CoV-2 in Equatorial Guinea

COVID-19 poses major challenges for resource-limited countries, also when it comes to diagnostics. Swiss TPH is supporting Equatorial Guinea in establishing one of the few... More...


New Understanding of Childhood Immune Systems May Improve Vaccine Efficacy

In low- and middle-income countries, children have the greatest need for protection afforded by vaccination due to a higher incidence of infectious diseases. However, the vaccines... More...

Brunetti G et al. Nanotechnological immunoassay for rapid label-free analysis of candidate malaria vaccines. Nanoscale. 2021;in press. DOI: 10.1039/D0NR08083G

Cheuka P.M et al. New amidated 3,6-diphenylated imidazopyridazines with potent antiplasmodium activity are dual inhibitors of Plasmodium phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase and cGMP-dependent protein kinase. ACS Infect Dis. 2021;7(1):34-46. DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00481

Diakité N.R et al. Baseline and impact of first-year intervention on Schistosoma haematobium infection in seasonal transmission foci in the northern and central parts of Côte d’Ivoire. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2021;6:7. DOI: 10.3390/tropicalmed6010007

Jongo S.A et al. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of radiation-attenuated and chemo-attenuated PfSPZ vaccines in Equatoguinean adults. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021;104(1):283-293. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0435

Keiser J, Häberli C. Evaluation of commercially available anthelminthics in laboratory models of human intestinal nematode infections. ACS Infect Dis. 2021(in press). DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00719