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

01.11.2016 - 08:30:00

Tuberculosis bacteria find their ecological niche

Researchers at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and the University of Basel have isolated and analyzed genetically tuberculosis bacteria from several... More...

18.10.2016 - 09:15:10

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis Advisory Committee Convenes at Swiss TPH

This year’s annual meeting of the Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis Advisory Committee, chaired by Jürg Utzinger, is hosted at Swiss TPH. Some 30 experts from Africa, Asia, Europe and... More...

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(in press). DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12665

Bapela M.J, Kaiser M, Meyer J.J.M. Antileishmanial activity of selected South African plant species. S Afr J Bot. 2017;108:342-345. DOI: 10.1016/j.sajb.2016.08.014

De Mieri M, Monteleone G, Ismajili I, Kaiser M, Hamburger M. Antiprotozoal activity-based profiling of a dichloromethane extract from anthemis nobilis flowers. J Nat Prod. 2017(in press). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00980

Mathieu C et al. Arginine and lysine transporters are essential for Trypanosoma brucei. PLoS One. 2017;12(1):e0168775. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168775

Krieg R et al. Arylmethylamino steroids as antiparasitic agents. Nat Commun. 2017;8:14478. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14478