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The Bacterial PathoGenOmics group at the I2SysBio aims to understand what makes bacteria pathogenic and therefore to identify genomic determinants of virulence phenotypes in bacterial infectious diseases. We use experimental data but also data derived from natural populations of pathogenic bacteria to describe and categorize virulence phenotypes. Our objective is to explain clinical and/or in vitro virulence phenotypes with bacterial biology by integrating infection biology, epidemiology and omics technologies.

At the moment we focus in one of the deadliest pathogens worldwide, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis is genetically heterogeneous, and we aim to identify genetic determinants of M. tuberculosis virulence. We have been developing three main research areas in the field:

M. tuberculosis evolutionary history

One of the key angles of our research is the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genomic diversity, its origin and evolution. We are deciphering the evolution and phylogenetic relationships of the different M. tuberculosis types, including animal adapted ecotypes using evolutionary genomics.

M. tuberculosis evolutionary history

Host-pathogen interactions during tuberculosis disease

We are trying to decipher the role of host-pathogen interaction in the outcome of the disease, by investigating immunological compatibility and immune evasion by antigenic diversity and combining genomics and immunology.

Host-pathogen interactions during tuberculosis disease

Genomic epidemiology

Because M. tuberculosis success and pathogenicity depends on epidemiological transmission, one of our key research areas is genomic epidemiology. We are trying to incorporate bayesian phylodynamics to infer epidemiological parameters not revealed by classical genomic epidemiology. Finally, we would like to correlate genomic determinants of the bacteria to highly transmissible phenotypes.

Genomic epidemiology