The research undertaken in our unit is centered on genomics and pathogenicity of mycobacteria, to uncover novel features of mycobacterial pathogens in relation to evolution and the interaction with the host.
While most mycobacteria are harmless saprophytes, a few species have very efficiently adapted to a pathogenic lifestyle and constitute some of most important human pathogens. There are Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of human tuberculosis, Mycobacterium leprae , the cause of leprosy and the emerging pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans, which causes Buruli ulcer, a most serious skin disease mainly prevalent in West Africa.
Our research in the Unit is mainly focused on Mycobacterium . Several aspects of our research are based on the pioneering studies on mycobacterial genomics that have previously been undertaken at the Institut Pasteur in the Unit for Molecular Bacterial Genetics (Director Pr. Stewart Cole, now at the EPFL in Lausanne) with the strong implication of the team members of PMI.