Nestlé Research Center – Lausanne

Research and Training Expertise

Key persons involved

After a PhD at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (BE, 1980) and a post-doc at the ETH of Zurich (CH), Annick Mercenier joined a small biotechnology company, Transgène S.A. (FR) for 14 years. In 1996, she joined the Institut Pasteur de Lille (FR) to set up the Department of Microbiology of Ecosystems while she was heading the Bacteriology laboratory (health applications of LAB). She has coordinated 3 successive EU programmes. In 2002, she has taken a position of group leader in the Nutrition and Health Department of the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne (CH). She has expertise in the genetics and metabolic pathways of gram-positive bacteria of industrial interest, mucosal immunology, probiotics and interaction between the microbiota and the host immune system.

Guénolée Prioult, PhD. Since her PhD in food immunology and a postdoctoral fellowship in cellular mechanisms of allergic diseases (MGH, Harvard Medical School, Boston), she has developed expertise in the modulation of immune disorders (allergies, gut inflammation...) by probiotic supplementation as well as the cellular mechanisms involved in oral tolerance induction.

Material Ressources

Cellular and molecular immunology (FACS, ELISA, cytokine arrays, RT-PCR, cell culture, etc). animal facility (conventional and GF). Animal models for oral tolerance/allergy. Probiotic collection. Genetics and (post)genomics of probiotics. Platforms for transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

3 Key publications

  • Rodriguez B, Prioult G, Hacini-Rachinel F, Moine D, Bruttin A, Ngom-Bru C, Labellie C, Nicolis I, Berger B, Mercenier A, Butel MJ, Waligora-Dupriet AJ. Infant gut microbiota is protective against cow's milk allergy in mice despite immature ileal T-cell response. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2011 Sep 28. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01207 [Pubmed]
  • Zuercher AW, Weiss M, Holvoet S, Moser M, Moussu H, van Overtvelt L, Horiot S, Moingeon P, Nutten S, Prioult G, Singh A, Mercenier A. Lactococcus lactis NCC 2287 alleviates food allergic manifestations in sensitized mice by reducing IL-13 expression specifically in the ileum. Clin Dev Immunol. 2012;2012:485750. Epub 2011 Sep 22 [Pubmed]
  • Rodriguez B, Prioult G, Bibiloni R, Nicolis I, Mercenier A, Butel MJ, Waligora-Dupriet AJ Germ-free status and altered caecal subdominant microbiota are associated with a high susceptibility to cow's milk allergy in mice. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2011 Apr;76(1):133-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.01035.x. Epub 2011 Jan 19 [Pubmed]