Elisa Crisci

Elisa Crisci

session, year:
2017 1st

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
GABI Animal Genetics and Integrative Biology, Jouy-en-Josas

Country of origin:


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Mobility project

P.I.G.: Pig Immunity Genomics

Viruses can trigger the down-regulation of host immune responses by several immune evasion strategies. Dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages (M?) are fundamental components of the innate immunity and are among the first cells interacting with pathogens in mucosae. Together they form a cellular network involved in pathogen sensing, controlling inflammation and initiating the adaptive immune responses. The Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV) participates in a variety of polymicrobial syndromes and is an economically significant disease impacting pig production worldwide. The recent emergence of highly pathogenic PRRSV strains underlines the need for a comprehensive understanding of the anti-PRRSV host immune responses to enable the design of effective vaccines. In this context, INRA is leading the SAPHIR EU project, involved in the concept of new PRRSV vaccines, and is partner of the ANIHWA project ‘KILLeuPRRSV’, whose main aim is to unravel the mechanisms of interaction underlying PRRSV’s immune-evasion strategy. P.I.G. project will finely dissect the mechanisms of interaction triggered by PRRSV by combining immunological (VIM Unit, SA Div.) and functional genomics (GABI Unit, GA Div.) approaches. Alterations of M?/DC subpopulations from the lung upon infection with virulent PRRSV strains will be characterized by phenotype and function (cytokine production and antigen presentation capacity), coupled to RNAseq to identify common/specific transcriptional signatures and regulatory pathways altered by PRRSV. Working with this refined experimental system will allow me to enrich my professional expertise in animal viro-immunology and it will open to new projects of disease functional genomics in an applied animal science context.

Biography & research interests

Dr. Elisa Crisci studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bologna (Italy) and after earning her DVM, she performed an internship period at the CRESA, an animal health research institute in Barcelona, Spain. While in Spain, Crisci earned her MSc and PhD in Veterinary Health and Medicine at CRESA, focusing her studies mainly on virus-like particles and animal host-virus interactions.
During her PhD, she worked with different porcine viruses, she acquired experience with Biolevel 3 zoonotic pathogens and she collaborated with different companies to improve porcine industry. She also performed several internships in Scotland, Belgium and Australia.
On February 2013, she moved to Sweden to work in human virology at the molecular virology division (IKE) of Linköping University. There she investigated mainly the interaction between human viruses, immune cells and complement system. In 2017, thanks to AgreenSkills+, she joined INRA GABI Animal Genetics and Integrative Biology research unit in Jouy-en- Josas (Paris, France) where she focused again on pig viruses and in particular on PRRSV infection in lung immune cells.
Since February 2018, Crisci joined the faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine of North Carolina State University as an Assistant Professor in Virology.
She defines herself as a “viro-immunologist” and her research will address the virus-host interactions in porcine diseases with a focus on Influenza and PRRSV.

Selected publications

Yap SH, Abdullah NA, McStea M, Takayama,K, Li Chong M, Crisci E., Larsson M, Azwa I, Kamarulzaman A, Leong KH, Woo YL, Rajasuriar R., 2017. HIV/Human herpesvirus co-infections: Impact on tryptophan-kynurenine pathway and immune reconstitution.Plos One, 12(10). Doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0186000.

E. Crisci, R. Ellegård, S. Nyström, E. Rondahl, L. Serrander, T.  Bergström, C. Sjöwall, K. Eriksson and M. Larsson., 2016. Complement opsonization promotes HSV-2 infection of human dendritic cells. Journal of Virology, 90(10):4939-50.

Maisonnasse P, Bouguyon E, Piton G, Ezquerra A, Urien C, Bourge M, Deloizy C.,Leplat JJ, Simon G, Chevalier C, Vincent-Naulleau S, Crisci E, Montoya M, Schwartz-Cornil I, Bertho N., 2016. The respiratory DC/macrophage network at steady-state and upon influenza infection in the swine biomedical model. Mucosal Immunol. 9(4):835-49.

E. Crisci, L. Fraile, R. Novellas, Y. Espada, R. Cabezón, J. Martínez, J. Bárcena, D. Benitez-Ribas and M. Montoya., 2015. In vivo tracking and immunological properties of pulsed pig-derived dendritic cells. Mol.  Immunol., 63(2):343-54.

E. Crisci, L. Fraile, N. Moreno, E. Blanco, R. Cabezón, C. Costa, T. Mussá, M. Baratelli, P. Martinez Orellana, J. Martínez, J. Bárcena, M. Montoya., 2012. Chimeric calicivirus-like particles elicit specific immune responses in pigs. Vaccine, 30:2427-2439.

Awards & patents

2016. Special Award for the PhD granted by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) the 8th of April 2016 at Hotel Campus UAB.

2015. Travel award from MiMS (Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden) National Doctoral Programme in Infections and Antibiotics for the 32nd Annual Meeting in NSCMID- Infections and Antibiotics, September 2-6, 2015, Umeå, Sweden

2013. Travel award from European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) for the 15th International Congress of Immunology (ICI), August 22-27, 2013, Milan, Italy.

2010. Travel award from European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) for the 14th International Congress of Immunology (ICI), August 22-27, 2010, Kobe, Japan.

2009. Travel award from European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) for the 2nd European Congress of Immunology (ECI), September 13-16, 2009, Berlin, Germany.


PRRSV, swine, dendritic cells, macrophages, innate immunity, transcriptome, RNAseq, lung, genomics