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

14.05.2020

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...

06.05.2020

"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...

Ahenkorah S et al. Antimalarial N1,N3-dialkyldioxonaphthoimidazoliums: synthesis, biological activity, and structure-activity relationships. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2020;11:49-55. DOI: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00457

Alvar J et al. Implications of asymptomatic infection for the natural history of selected parasitic tropical diseases. Semin Immunopathol. 2020(in press). DOI: 10.1007/s00281-020-00796-y

Angora E.K et al. High prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium x Schistosoma bovis hybrids in schoolchildren in Côte d'Ivoire. Parasitology. 2020;147(3):287-294. DOI: 10.1017/S0031182019001549

Arbues A, Brees D, Chibout S.D, Fox T, Kammuller M, Portevin D. TNF-alpha antagonists differentially induce TGF-beta1-dependent resuscitation of dormant-like Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLoS Pathog. 2020;16(2):e1008312. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008312

Areesanan A. Studies on recombinant Strongyloides ratti prolyl oligopetidase and Plasmodial cystein-rich protective antigens. Basel: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Insitute, 2020. MSc Thesis