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Thursday 18 April 2013
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A metabarcoding approach to evaluate the role of biodiversity in disease transmission risks

Jerome MURIENNE

Laboratoire «Evolution & Diversité Biologique», Toulouse, FRANCE

A classical perspective on disease transmission has been that areas rich in species also display a high biodiversity of pathogens, and thus a high risk of transmission. More recently, an alternative perspective suggests that high biodiversity decreases the risk of disease transmission, by buffering the spreading of parasites through the presence of numerous non-competent hosts. This « dilution-effect » also suggests that anthropogenic disturbed environments with low biodiversity might present higher risk of disease transmission to humans.
Vector-borne diseases are particularly well suited to study the relationship between biodiversity and disease transmission risk. Testing the dilution-effect hypothesis on such a system would require a precise understanding of the biodiversity of pathogens, hosts and vectors over various ecosystems and time scales. This description has until now be hampered by the necessity to rely on time consuming morphological identification of vectors and detection of the presence of pathogens in vectors and potential hosts.
Our goal is to develop, validate and implement molecular tools for new generation biodiversity monitoring through metabarcoding. This will allow us to study the dilution effect hypothesis in the multipartite system involved in the transmission of Leishmaniasis. This approach has never been performed on such a system before and offer promising opportunities to rapidly and efficiently characterize whole-community biodiversity patterns over large spatial and ecological scales.

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Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
  • PAWLOWSKI Jan
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
  • WILLERSLEV Eske
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • ZINGER Lucie
    • IBENS
    • Paris (France)
Editorial
  • Vodka, Bison and Metabarcoding

    31 July 2015, by BRANDNER Melissa

    The start of last month saw the occurrence of the Fifth Metabarcoding Spring School held in Białowieża National Park , Poland. A variety of scientists attended from all over the globe to learn, share and inspire with unique stories of metabarcoding.
    The scientists at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża National Park hosted this year’s workshop. And our hats go off to them for the organizational skills, warmth and hospitality. During the week, experienced metabarcoders gave lectures on their trials and tribulations in the field of metabarcoding, sparking conversations between the attendees. The end of the first day saw flash talks from all participants of the event, creating an icebreaker and showing the wide variety of applications for metabarcoding, including, dietary studies, environmental health, fundamental ecology and exploration of rare and ancient habitats.
    Pierre Taberlet (who is rumoured to run 8000 PCR a day!) taught technical aspects such as DNA extraction in (...)

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