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Characterization of novel rodent- and tick-borne viruses: prevalence, distribution, molecular variation and interaction with other microorganisms in rodents and ticks.
Rodents and ticks and are reservoirs and/or vectors of many human and livestock diseases. Some zoonotic pathogens are difficult to detect because they are unknown or poorly characterized. Furthermore, there is clear evidence of co-infections by several microorganisms (pathogens, symbionts and commensals) in rodents and ticks. However, the effect of these co-infections on pathogen transmission is yet unknown. Therefore efforts are needed to develop efficient methods to identify unknown pathogens in order to provide tools for appropriate diagnostics. In this context, the National Institute for Agronomical Research (INRA) is funding the project PATHO-ID.
The PATHO-ID project aims to establish a catalogue of microorganisms, including new or unexpected pathogens, symbionts and commensals present in rodents and ticks; to identify their distribution among natural populations; and to enlighten possible interactions between such microorganisms. In this frame, the VIRUS-ID subproject aims to study viruses identified by the PATHO-ID consortium. In particular, VIRUS-ID will assess (1) the prevalence and distribution of circulating viruses in rodents and ticks populations; (2) their molecular variation related to their presence in rodents and/or ticks; and (3) their co-occurrence (and possible interactions or associations, either positive or negative) with other microorganisms that could interfere with their transmission.
I was currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Biology and Management of Populations (CBGP; a joint research unit of INRA, CIRAD and IRD). I was born in Barcelona, where I received her undergraduate education. In 2005, I was graduated from the University of the Balearic Islands with an MSc degree in Biology. In 2012, I obtained her PhD from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki in Virology (molecular evolution of Hantaviruses); this work took place under the supervision of Prof. Alexander Plyusnin at the Haartman Institute of the University of Helsinki and Prof. Heikki Henttonen at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). Thereafter, I joined the Centre for Biology and Management of Populations (CBGPINRA) in Montpellier to conduct research on Hantaviruses evolution. In 2013, I obtained an AgreenSkills postdoctoral grant to perform the VIRUS-ID project, which aims to characterize rodent- and tick-borne microorganisms, particularly viruses. My research interests focus on ecology and evolution of zoonotic infectious diseases, especially vector-borne emerging infectious diseases; molecular evolution of etiologic microorganisms; the emergence of novel pathogens; within-host dynamics and between-host transmission; host immune-resistance to parasites; and interactions of different pathogens.
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