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

22.03.2017 - 11:34:23

World TB Day

On 24 March, we commemorate World TB Day. Tuberculosis remains one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide with annually 1.8 million deaths. 250,000 of them are due to resistance... More...

03.03.2017 - 08:05:59

The Achilles Heel of Plasmodia - Advances in Vaccine Development against Malaria

The protein CyRPA could be an important component for an efficient vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly of all malarial pathogens. Scientists from the Swiss... 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

Waldsö I, Hallén D, Jansson M, Suurkuusk J, Wenzler T, Braissant O. A well-plate format isothermal multi-channel microcalorimeter for monitoring the activity of living cells and tissues. Thermochimica Acta. 2017(in press). DOI: 10.1016/j.tca.2017.03.010

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

Singh K et al. Antimalarial pyrido[1,2-a]benzimidazoles: lead optimization, parasite life cycle stage profile, mechanistic evaluation, killing kinetics, and in vivo oral efficacy in a mouse model. J Med Chem. 2017;60(4):1432-1448. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01641

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;80(2):459-470. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00980