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Project context and summary :
Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease, with high prevalence in tropical regions. It affects both wild and domestic animals, as well as humans, and it is disseminated by asymptomatic carriers, such as rats and mice, that contaminate water with urine. Its etiological agents are some species of the genus Leptospira, member of the phylum Spirochaetes, which are able to colonize hosts through skin injuries or mucous membranes. Once inside the host, the bacteria is able to disseminate quickly through blood and replicate inside the kidneys, provoking renal failure, hemorrhages, liver damage, among other severe potential complications. High-throughput sequencing technologies have allowed to reconstruct the genomes of hundreds of Leptospira strains, enabling comparative analyses which in turn have accelerated the understanding of the its biology. However, leptospirosis is still classified as a neglected disease and many aspects of Leptospira pathogenesis remain unknown. This project aims to strengthen and establish new collaborations between members of the Réseau International des Instituts Pasteur (RIIP) (the Institut Pasteur, France, and the Institut Pasteur Montevideo, Uruguay), in the context of an ongoing, more extensive PTR project entitled “Global diversity, genomic epidemiology and pathogen evolution of Leptospira spp.” (coordinator: Mathieu Picardeau). In the context of this PTR project, we have proposed that a PhD student from Montevideo (Ignacio Ferrés) spend a couple of months in Paris to develop some specific project goals. This internship will be directed by Dr. Mathieu Picardeau and will be performed under the supervision of Dr. Amine Ghozlane at the C3BI. Specifically, the goals of the internship are: 1) to uncover hidden Leptospira's genome diversity by analyzing public environmental metagenomics databases; and 2) to improve functional annotation of Leptospira genomes by applying comparative molecular modeling techniques developed by Dr. Ghozlane and collaborators.Related team publications :
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