Pathogen diversity and the evolutionary ecology of a tick-borne disease
Responsable du projet Maarten Voordouw
Collaborateur Maxime Jacquet
Jonas Durand
Résumé Pathogens and parasites have a bewildering genetic diversity that allows them to escape from the host immune system. The genetic diversity of pathogens is important because it affects a variety of public health concerns such as the evolution of pathogen virulence, antibiotic resistance, and vaccine failure. This research proposal contains three different projects that investigate how genetic diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme Borreliosis, affects the ecology and evolution of this tick-borne disease. Many Borrelia populations are composed of 20 or more genetically distinct strains that are highly divergent at the so-called outer-surface protein C, which interacts with the host immune system. The first project tests whether the genetic diversity at the ospC locus is maintained by adaptation to different host species or by negative frequency-dependent selection where rare Borrelia strains have a selective advantage because they are less likely to be targeted by the host immune system. The second project uses a laboratory experiment to test how partially effective vaccines (in this case a commercially available anti-Lyme disease vaccine) can drive evolution of genetically diverse pathogen populations (in this case the different ospC strains of B. afzelii). The third project uses a laboratory experiment to test whether Borrelia genospecies that are locally adapted to different host species can manipulate the host choice of their tick vector to maximize their transmission success. All three projects are united by the theme of how genetic diversity of the Borrelia pathogen influences the ecology and evolution of Lyme disease.
Mots-clés parasite transmission, Borrelia burgdorferi, epidemiology, infectious diseases, Lyme disease, host-parasite interactions, vector-borne disease, ticks
Type de projet Recherche fondamentale
Domaine de recherche Ecologie
Source de financement FNS - Encouragement de projets (Div. I-III)
Etat Terminé
Début de projet 1-8-2012
Fin du projet 31-7-2015
Budget alloué 337'000.00
Autre information http://p3.snf.ch/projects-141153#
Contact Maarten Voordouw