Dept | 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

Head of Department, Head of Unit

09.11.2017 - 18:00:00

A milestone in the fight against malaria

The malaria parasite employs an effective trick: it forces transmission from human to human as soon as the conditions in the host deteriorate. An international research team... More...

26.09.2017 - 14:35:45

Reduced Efficacy of Anthelmintic Drugs

Approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide are affected by soil-transmitted helminth infections. Efficacy of current treatments is decreasing, as indicated in a systematic review... More...

Leven M et al. 3-hydroxy-N'-arylidenepropanehydrazonamides with halo-substituted phenanthrene scaffolds cure P. berghei infected mice when administered perorally. J Med Chem. 2017;60(14):6036-6044. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00140

Esse C et al. "Koko et les lunettes magiques": an educational entertainment tool to prevent parasitic worms and diarrheal diseases in Côte d'Ivoire. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11(9):e0005839. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005839

Armitage S.A.O, Kurtz J, Brites D, Dong Y, Du Pasquier L, Wang H.C. Dscam1 in pancrustacean immunity: current status and a look to the future. Front Immunol. 2017;8:662. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00662

Gétaz M et al. A diagnostic tool for improved detection of Xanthomonas fragariae using a rapid and highly specific LAMP assay designed with comparative genomics. Plant Pathology. 2017;66(7):1094-1102. DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12665

Cretton S et al. A new antifungal and antiprotozoal bibenzyl derivative from Gavilea lutea. Nat Prod Res. 2017(in press). DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2017.1338287