Biology and Diversity of Emerging Eukaryotic Pathogens

Head of Team

Viscogliosi Eric


Eric Viscogliosi received his PhD. degree in biology/protistology in 1992 from the University of Clermont-Ferrand and obtained the Research Direction Habilitation (HDR) in 1997 from the same university. From 1992 to 1994, he completed a post-doc at the Rockefeller University in New York in the laboratory of Biochemical Parasitology headed by Pr. Miklos Müller (former Pr. Christian De Duve laboratory). He then obtained a position of permanent researcher at CNRS in 1994 after a short period as Assistant Professor. Until 2000, he developed his research in Clermont-Ferrand, New York and Tokyo (Invited Professor and Invited Researcher) on the cytoskeleton, morphogenesis, antioxidant enzymes and evolution of the protozoan group of trichomonads. He then joined the Institute Pasteur of Lille in the unit Inserm U547 directed by Pr. Monique Capron in 2000 then the CIIL since 2010 as team leader. Eric Viscogliosi is Director of Research at CNRS and works currently as the head of the Team Ecology and Physiopathology of Intestinal Protozoa, focusing his main research activities on the epidemiology, transmission and physiopathology of the parasites Blastocystis and Cryptosporidium.



ECOPHIP focuses its research activities on the epidemiology, transmission and pathogenicity of the intestinal protozoa Blastocystis and Cryptosporidium.

ECOPHIP is focusing its research activities on the intestinal parasitic protozoa Blastocystis and Cryptosporidium, which currently represent major socioeconomic and public health problems. Both parasites are responsible for gastrointestinal infections which, in the case of Cryptosporidium, can be serious or even fatal in children and immunocompromised patients. However, these parasites are still poorly studied and generally overlooked by health authorities, while little or no treatment is effective against these parasites. Moreover, these two parasites, presenting a great genetic diversity and being able to colonize many hosts, also represent relevant models to investigate a major biological question in the field of "Ecology of Health": what is the nature of the genetic diversity of these parasites and its impact on the circulation and pathogenicity of different species, subtypes and genotypes? The current and future work of ECOPHIP, which has the particularity of combining "field studies" and "laboratory research", aim to clarify the molecular epidemiology of these parasites (Aim 1), their circulation in human and animal populations as well as in the environment (research of transmission risk factors) (Aim 2) and their pathophysiology while identifying molecules and mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of these parasites (Aim 3). The goal of ECOPHIP is to propose strategies to implement urgent prevention and control measures to significantly reduce the incidence of these parasites.
To carry out its activities, ECOPHIP combines molecular epidemiology and phylogeny, comparative genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, metagenomics and cell and molecular biology approaches together with the development of in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro study models. ECOPHIP has developed a large and well-targeted network of regional, national and international collaborations. Finally, because of its rare expertise in protistology, ECOPHIP is requested for specific collaborations, in particular in the context of the molecular identification of parasitic protozoa of interest in human and animal health or as coordinator / partner of funded projects funded in the fields of parasitology (fish parasites) and environmental parasitology.