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


EUR 2.47 Million Grant Awarded to Swiss TPH for Helminth Research

Jennifer Keiser, Head of the Helminth Drug Development Unit at Swiss TPH, was awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant for EUR 2.47 million over five years to conduct... More...


Promising Treatment Alternative Against Parasitic Worm Infection

Strongyloidiasis, a parasitic worm infection caused by soil-transmitted helminths, remains a neglected public health problem with limited treatment options. Swiss TPH researchers... More...


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...

Arafa R.K et al. New antiparasitic flexible triaryl diamidines, their prodrugs and aza analogues: synthesis, in vitro and in vivo biological evaluation, and molecular modelling studies. Eur J Med Chem. 2021;222:113625. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113625

Asare P et al. Genomic epidemiological analysis identifies high relapse among individuals with recurring tuberculosis and provides evidence of household recent TB transmission in Ghana. Int J Infect Dis. 2021;106:13-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2021.02.110

Assaré R.K et al. Accuracy of two circulating antigen tests for the diagnosis and surveillance of Schistosoma mansoni infection in low-endemicity settings of Côte d'Ivoire. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021(in press)

Bärenbold O et al. Estimating true prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni from population summary measures based on the Kato-Katz diagnostic technique. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021;15(4):e0009310. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009310

Bevkal S, Naguleswaran A, Rehmann R, Kaiser M, Heller M, Roditi I. An Alba-domain protein required for proteome remodelling during trypanosome differentiation and host transition. PLoS Pathog. 2021;17:e1009239. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009239