MY RESEARCH IS MAINLY FOCUSED ON PATHOGEN SPILLOVERS AT THE WILD / DOMESTIC / HUMAN INTERFACE
Crédits photos Eve Miguel
My research is mainly focused on pathogen spillover at the wild / domestic / human interface. I am particularly interested on animal / human behaviors which lead to disease epidemics. I am trying to depict spatial interactions among species and seasonal patterns to understand the epidemiology of the disease.
My background is ecology and evolution but I have been collaborating with veterinary, wildlife manager, decision makers, modelers, epidemiologist and sociologist.
Diseases of particular interest for me include : Foot and Mouth Disease, bovine Tuberculosis, MERS- Coronavrius, Tick diseases (Theileriosis), Malaria, Rift Valley fever.
I am also interested in human well-being and animal conservation in southern countries and by scientific popularization in particularly for young people
My dream is to create a mobile laboratory (e.g bus fully equipped) to develop locally epidemiological investigations (serological kit), to collect ecological data (telemetry data from satellite and wildlife behavior observations), and to use this integrated structure to promote the communication between health and conservation institutions (clinic / veterinary / national park), with the creation of think tanks and the organization of actor games, workshops and theatre activities in order to stimulate exchanges.
In the nutshell:
My PhD, from the Montpellier University (France), on contacts between wild and domestic herbivores and related pathogens spillover in Africa, funded by the Cirad and the CNRS, started in late 2009. I spent 2 years in Zimbabwe developing an understanding of the local eco-patho-systems and collecting data. I mainly focused on buffalo – cattle interactions and on the epidemiology of foot and mouth disease. I combined in statistical models serological surveys and telemetry data to describe the influence of contacts with buffalo, vaccination and land use on the dynamics of foot and mouth disease in cattle populations. I was also interested in developing approaches at integrative scales (ecosystem and community scales). I worked on the role of top predators (Panthera leo) on buffalo-cattle interactions and the subsequent consequences on interspecific transmission of FMD. I also studied variation in the density and composition of immature tick communities in the vegetation around water pans located in landscape compartments with differing ungulate host communities.
In January 2013, I joined Christl Donnelly’s group at the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling at the Imperial College of London studying the control of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in British cattle, a problem made considerably more complex by the transmission of M. bovis from badgers to cattle. I am currently trying (i) to assess the long term effect of badger culling on spatial aggregation of TB occurrence in the UK and (ii) to review the impacts of wildlife culling strategies on disease incidence. This postdoctoral experience gave me as well the opportunity to work on domestic dog and wild carnivore interactions and disease transmission in Tanzania.
I started in January 2015 a pilot project on MERS-Coronavirus (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) with Cirad and Hong Kong University for mapping the virus in Africa and central Asia. We are now developing a phase 2 of the project for understanding the role of camels in the epidemiology of MERS-CoV outside the Arabian Peninsula
Our main objective is to assess the temporal pattern and the potential risk factors related to human illness caused by MERS-CoV. The project has included new partners as FAO, Institut Pasteur and Labex Cemeb from Montpellier University.
In parallel I will be also involved in the new project PANIC funded by ANR in the MIVEGEC lab. Focusing on malaria spreading in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), the PANIC project (Pathogen’s NIChe: a new approach for infectious diseases control) aims to develop conceptual, empirical and theoretical frameworks to envision optimized public health strategies for vector-borne diseases. More pricesly the objective is to quantify the contribution of (i) mosquito population dynamics, (ii) change in human behavior and (iii) resident immunity on the spatio-temporal transmission of malaria in Bobo-Dioulasso.