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Ticks and tick-Borne Diseases (TiBoDi)

TiBoDi
To characterize the interactions among the players involved in tick-borne diseases and their genetic variability to propose new control methods.

Context and issues

  • Major role of ticks in animal but also human health as most tick-borne diseases – the main vector borne diseases in our latitudes – are zoonotic.
  • Epidemiology of tick-borne diseases is influenced by agriculture through :
    • Its action on spatial organization of the different biotopes within agro-ecosystems.
    • The involvement of livestock as hosts for tick feeding and potential reservoir for pathogenic agents.

Objectives

  • Characterize the genome and the genetic variability of ticks and the microorganisms they carry to :
    • understand their evolution,
    • estimate their dispersal,
    • evaluate their host specificity,
    • study the genes involved in life history traits influencing the epidemiology of thoses diseases,
    • identify potential target for the development of new control methods (acaracides, antiprotozoal, vaccines, antisymbiotic drugs…).
  • Understand the eco-epidemiology of tick borne diseases through a better knowledge of the ecology of ticks (population dynamics, ecological preferences…), their hosts and the microorganisms they carry.

Target species

  • Ticks (especially Ixodes ricinus)
  • Protozoa (especially Babesia)
  • Bacteria (especially the symbiont Midichloria mitochondrii)
  • Vertebrates used by ticks as hosts (domestic animals and wildlife)

Applied fields

  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Tick borne diseases
  • Host-parasite interactions

Expertise and skills

  • Parasitoloy
  • Evolutionary Biology (population genetics, phylogeography, phylogeny…)
  • Taxonomy (Ixodida, Apicomplexa)
  • Ecology
  • Genomics
  • Epidemiology
  • Biology-Modelisation interface

Ongoing Projects

  • Xenobio-Tick : Transcriptomic and functional characterization of tick specific neuroreceptors that will constitute targets for the development of  innovative acaricides
  • GenIric : whole Genome sequencing of the tick Ixodes ricinus, vector of multiple human and animal
  • CC-EID : Climate-Change and the risk of Emergence of wildlife-borne Infectious Diseases in agricultural and forest landscapes