Unité de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaire

Using integrative and system biology methodologies, the team analyze the interactions between intracellular pathogens and their host cell to contribute to the development of novel strategies to control infections. The team main pathogen model is Pseudorabies virus (or Aujeszky’s Disease virus), a Herpes virus which is a model of porcine viral pathogen. Our studies focus on virus-induced cell signalling pathways involved in viral cycle achievement, innate antiviral response and immune escape mechanisms.

The team implement cell biology and integrative approaches based on the global analysis of virus-induced modification of the cellular transcriptome (using DNA microarrays). Host-pathogen interactions are studied mainly in the pig model, using in vitro cell systems corresponding to the primary target of viral infections at mucosal sites: polarised epithelial cells and immature dendritic cells (antigen presenting cells).

The team is involved in the « PathogenCombat Â» project, a EU 6th Framework Program integrated project dedicated to the fight against food borne pathogens. It led the team to implement similar approaches to study the cellular response to Listeria monocytogenes infection and the immunomodulatory properties of probiotics.

Key persons involved

François Lefèvre, PhD, DVM, is the head of a group. He is presently involved, as partner and manager, in the « PathogenCombat » European project (2005-2010). He has a long lasting collaboration with UEPSD2 (Philippe Langella) on the use of lactic acid bacteria as innovative vaccines against pathogens.

3 key publications

  • Cortes-Perez NG, Medina LF, Lefèvre F, Langella P, Bermúdez-Humarán LG. (2008) Production of biologically active CXC chemokines by Lactococcus lactis: Evaluation of its potential as a novel mucosal vaccine adjuvant. Vaccine. [Epub ahead of print][Pubmed]
  • Flori L, Rogel-Gaillard C, Cochet M, Lemonnier G, Hugot K, Chardon P, Robin S, Lefèvre F. (2008) Transcriptomic analysis of the dialogue between Pseudorabies virus and porcine epithelial cells during infection. BMC Genomics. 9:123.[Pubmed]
  • Riteau B, de Vaureix C, Lefèvre F. (2006) Trypsin increases pseudorabies virus production through activation of the ERK signalling pathway. J Gen Virol. 87:1109-12.[Pubmed]