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 +41612848369


Public-private partnership launched to develop new drugs for parasitic worm infections

A new consortium of research institutes, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and pharmaceutical companies has teamed up to develop novel drugs for infections caused by... More...


Sébastien Gagneux receives Gardner Middlebrook Award 2019

Sébastien Gagneux, Swiss TPH and University of Basel, was honoured with the Gardner Middlebrook Lifetime Achievement Award for his research on tuberculosis. The prestigious award... More...

Babanezhad Harikandei K, Salehi P, Ebrahimi S.N, Bararjanian M, Kaiser M, Al-Harrasi A. Synthesis, in-vitro antiprotozoal activity and molecular docking study of isothiocyanate derivatives. Bioorg Med Chem. 2020;28(1):115185. DOI: 10.1016/j.bmc.2019.115185

Brancucci N.M.B, Heussler V.T, Gruring C. Targeting Plasmodium plasmepsin V: hitting two birds with one stone. Trends Parasitol. 2020;36(2):85-87. DOI: 10.1016/

Felger I, Snounou G, Hastings I, Moehrle J.J, Beck H.P. PCR correction strategies for malaria drug trials: updates and clarifications. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020;20(1):e20-e25. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30426-8

Rutishauser T et al. Activation of TCR Vδ1+ and Vδ1-Vδ2- γδ T cells upon controlled infection with Plasmodium falciparum in Tanzanian volunteers. J Immunol. 2020;204(1):180-191. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1900669

Tasdemir D et al. Antiprotozoal and antihelminthic properties of plants ingested by wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui) in Yakushima Island. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020;247:112270. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.112270