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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Our research projects

From mosquitoes to mammals: a better understanding of alphaviruses transmission and host response.

We are recently  witnessing a resurgence or emergence of new infectious diseases of great concern for human public health, as well as for animal health. Many of these diseases are caused by viruses transmitted by biting insects, or arthropods : the so called "arboviruses". Many arboviruses, infecting both humans and animals, and especially livestock, may cause zoonoses, with dramatic health and economic impact in some parts of the world.

Some of these viruses have expanded their geographical distribution, particularly through the spread of their insect vector, the mosquito. The entry of the flavivirus Zika in Brazil for the first time on the American continent in 2015, as well as the Chikungunya alphavirus at the end of 2014 in the Antilles, are recent examples. It has also been shown that these viruses can adapt to new vectors, as did Chikungunya during the 2007 Indian Ocean epidemic, initially transmitted by Aedes Aegypti and later by Aedes Albopictus (the "tiger mosquito "). Finally, the pathologies induced by these infections are also very variable, ranging from mild symptoms to serious chronic complications.

Our team is mainly interested in alphaviruses, for which there is currently no vaccine or specific treatment. By studying their mode of infection in mammals and insects, in vitro and in vivo, our project aims at identifying and understanding the factors responsible for the pathogenicity or resistance of the host:

  • Which are the host factors involved in virus entry, its tissue tropism and its interspecies transmission? To answer this question we use for example whole genome CRISPR/Cas9 screens, analyzed by NGS (Sequencing Platform - IGFL).
  • What is the role of host response, such as cell death, in the in vivo viral propagation and the difference in pathogenicity between species? In addition to human and mosquitoes cell models, we also use Drosophila as an in vivo model to study different cell death pathways involvement, as it is a powerfull genetic tool, easy to manipulate (in collaboration with B Mollereau, LBMC, ENS Lyon).   

 

finovi

Grant :    

Collaboration with the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai

IPS, Chinese Academy of Science
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