Human genetics of infectious diseases - Institut National des Sciences et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm), Paris

The general objective of Inserm Unit 980, ‘Human genetics of infectious diseases’, is to identify the human genes that are involved in the predisposition and/or the resistance to infectious agents, mainly bacteria and virus. The originality and the strength of the laboratory lie in the synergic combination of two complementary groups (genetic epidemiology and genetic immunology) which allows addressing this question from the perspectives of both Mendelian predisposition to rare severe infections and complex predisposition to common infections. This strategy has already been successful in the study of mycobacterial infections with the identification of several genes responsible of severe infections by poorly virulent mycobacteria (such as BCG vaccine), and the mapping of a major gene in leprosy. This strategy is also currently applied to the study of several viral infections, rare and severe (such as herpetic encephalitis, fulminant hepatitis) and common (such as chronic infection by HTLV-1, HHV-8, HCV).



The group of genetic epidemiology headed by Laurent Abel has been working in genetic epidemiology of infectious diseases for more than 15 years with the goal to identify the main genes involved in the determinism of infectious diseases and to specify the role of environmental factors interacting with these genes. In the last years their research has focused on the study of common mycobacterial diseases and chronic infection by some oncogenic viruses. Their group has a long experience for analyzing human genetic data, and has also developed powerful genetic epidemiology methods for such analyses. The principal participating persons are Laurent Abel, Vincent Pedergnana and Sabine Plancoulaine. They have been involved in studies of intrafamilial transmission of HCV in Egypt and genetic predisposition to infection.


Role in the collaboration

Expertise in genetic epidemiology of infectious diseases.


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fp7_01fp7_02 This project is funded
by the European Union