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IRD, CNRS, University of Montpellier

Infectious Diseases and Vectors:
Ecology, Genetics, Evolution and Control


The aims of the group MIVEGEC are to develop integrative and transdisciplinary research to the mechanisms that maintain, amplify and transmit pathogenic agents, along with their genetic and epigenetic determinants, in order to better understand how these systems evolve and to improve their control.


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Global changes related to the action of humans on the environment are reaching an unprecedented level; demographic explosion, deforestation, urbanisation, intensive and extensive agriculture, climate change, globalisation of trade and movement of people, all contribute to disrupting terrestrial ecosystems at all levels.
These changes create new environments to which vectors, hosts and pathogens are adapting. The destruction of some habitats and the creation of new ecological niches modify the interactions between these three actors and favour the emergence and re-emergence of many human pathogens.
A better understanding of the conditions and mechanisms underlying these changes in the pattern of disease, its transmission and evolution, are needed for the development of new tools and strategies for sustainable control and prevention.


Scientific agenda:
The novel combination of themes studied by the MIVEGEC place it at the interface of multiple disciplines; Public Health and Environment, Biology and Medicine, Ecology and Evolution, with applications to the control of infectious disease and their vectors, managing biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
Theoretical and experimental research is conducted at the laboratory, in shared research platforms, and in the many field sites of the group. This complementarity in the skills and expertise the MIVEGEC harbours covers a broad spectrum from core fundamental research in biology, ecology and evolution, to the development of applied tools and strategies to fight infectious diseases and control their vectors.


Aims of our approach:
- Descriptive: to allow the acquisition and storage of high quality data collected in the laboratory, from shared research platforms, or the field, while benefiting from the presence of personnel based in countries where diseases are endemic and strong collaboration with the national institutes that host them;
- Explanatory: by the detailed study of molecular, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and by explicitly accounting for population dynamics and environmental, biotic, abiotic, but also socio-economical factors, in order to explore the intrinsic and extrinsic determinants of epidemiological profiles and/or phenotypes of interest detected in the field or in the laboratory;
- Predictive: by applying theory and modelling to understand the mechanisms studied and extrapolating them in time and space, to allow the emergence of new paradigms and tools to monitor and control infectious diseases and their potential vectors.

The MIVEGEC is structured into 5 research teams lead by experienced researchers recognised nationally and internationally. Each team focuses on a particular theme, with one or more subdivision within each team specialising in a particular approach to studying the theme. The development of innovating projects is encouraged in these subdivisions and is what gives the MIVEGEC its cutting edge in terms of original and competitive research.

The MIVEGEC consists of more than 90 permanent research scientists, lectures, engineers and technicians employed by the IRD, CNRS, and the University of Montpellier. They are based in different locations around Montpellier and across different regions of the planet, including Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Senegal), Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), South America (French Guyana) and in the Indian Ocean (Réunion Island).

Carte MIVEGEC 2018 3