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The MIVEGEC studies the evolution of host-parasite interactions using three complementary approaches;

 

  • observational. This approach allows us to describe and understand how epicentres of infection work and evolve, as well as the roles of each organism (vector, pathogen, symbiont, host) in the system. This research concerns the study of adaptive mechanisms in response to diverse selection pressures, including environmental change of natural or human origin, acting on vectors on micro- or macro-geographic scales. For example, our projects have involved the evolution of resistance in pathogens to medical treatment, the evolution of insecticide resistance in vectors, the evolution of virulence, and of both phenotypic and genotypic adaptation to environmental conditions on scales ranging from individual cells to that of whole ecosystems.
  • experimental. This approach aims at characterising phenotypic effects, in particular life-history traits of hosts and their parasites, due to different factors ranging from individual mutations in genes of either host or pathogen to how environmental conditions modify the expression of these effects. The current experimental systems used include; mosquitoes and their microsporidian parasites, mosquitoes and their arboviruses, the Cauliflower Mosaic virus and its host plants, resistance to medical treatment by Leishmania spp., Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus, insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, etc...
  • theoretical. This approach includes mathematically modelling the evolution of host and parasite life-history traits of hosts and parasites, virulence, local adaptation, and how different modes of reproduction evolve.

Together these approaches provide a foundation to understanding and anticipating how systems involving infectious agents do or could emerge, re-emerge, become endemic or epidemic, and how xenobiotic resistance evolves.