Location: University of Geneva (Switzerland)
contract: 5 years
Chairholder: Prof. dr. Pierre Cosson
chair was created in order to promote the development and implementation of
non-animal methods in biomedical research through research and teaching. The research
work performed within the chair’s activities is focused on the development and
implementation of new in vitro methods with the potential to reduce significantly
animal experiments in fundamental and applied research. Two main facets to this
work has been established: first to develop alternative models to study
bacterial infections, and second to implement a facility producing in vitro
antibodies. Teaching is also an important facet of the chair’s activities
an introduction to non-mammalian models to young academic students - A combination of practical and theoretical courses has
provided a good introduction for medical and biology students.
alternative methods to young researchers - Former PhD or postdoctoral students from our laboratory
have spread our techniques to several other laboratories worldwide.
advanced researchers to alternative methods - This has been done notably in the framework of courses
to researchers engaged into animal experiments, to whom alternatives can be
Information about the chair at the University of Geneva can be found at the follwoing link (in French):
→ http://www.unige.ch/communication/ (in French)
- Recombinant antibodies: an in vitro alternative to animal use
Recombinant antibodies are a new technology allowing the production of antibodies without using animals. The use of this technology can potentially reduce very significantly the number of animals in research laboratories, while at the same time facilitating research work. However, so far this technology has not spread to fundamental biomedical research laboratories due mainly to its relative sophistication.
In 2012 the staff of the chair initiated a core facility aimed at making the recombinant antibody technology available to research laboratories at the Geneva Faculty of Medicine, and to reduce the use of research animals. This facility is placed under the supervision of Pierre Cosson and hosted in the Faculty’s laboratory space. The long-term vision is to create a fully open facility that will produce reagents for the whole scientific community worldwide and will make animal experimentation obsolete in this field of biomedical research.
- Use of Dictyostelium
amoebae to study bacterial pathogenicity
Froquet, R., Cherix, N., Burr, S.,
Frey, J., Vilches, S., Tomas, J.M., Cosson, P. 2007. An alternative host
model to evaluate Aeromonas
virulence. Appl. Environmental Microb. 73: 5657-9.
Cosson, P, Soldati, T. 2008.
Eat kill or die: when amoeba meets bacteria. Curr. Opinion in Microbiol. 11:
Alibaud, L., Köhler, T., Coudray,
A., Prigent-Combaret, C., Bergeret, E., Perrin, J., Benghezal, M., Reimmann,
C., Gauthier, Y., van Delden, C., Attree, I., Fauvarque, M.O., Cosson,
P. 2008. Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence genes identified in a Dictyostelium
host model. Cell. Microb. 10: 729-40.
R., Lelong, E., Marchetti, A., Cosson, P. 2009. Dictyostelium
discoideum: a model host to measure bacterial virulence. Nature Protocols.
I., Novikov, A., Augusto, L., Liehl, P., Bolbach, G., Péchy-Tarr, M., Cosson,
P., Keel, C., Caroff, M., Lemaitre, B. 2009. Hemolytic activity of Pseudomonas
entomophila, a versatile soil bacterium, is linked to cyclic lipopeptide
production. Appl. Environmental Microb. 76: 910-21.
Lima, WC, Lelong, E, Cosson,
P. 2011. What can Dictyostelium bring
to the study of Pseudomonas
infections? Seminars-Cell. Dev. Biol. 22:77-81.
Marchetti, A., Simon, M., Burns, J.L., van Delden, C., Köhler, T., Cosson,
P. 2011. Evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence in infected patients
revealed in a Dictyostelium discoideum host model. Clin. Microb. Infect.
- Non-mammalian host
models to develop new antibacterial drugs
Benghezal, M., Adam, E.,
Lucas, A., Burn, C., Orchard, M.G., Deuschel, C., Valentino, E., Braillard, S.,
Paccaud, J.P., Cosson, P. 2007. Inhibitors of bacterial virulence
identified in a surrogate host model. Cell. Microb. 9:1336-42.
- Use of Dictyostelium
amoebae to study host defense mechanisms
Benghezal M, Fauvarque
MO, Tournebize R, Froquet R, Marchetti A, Bergeret E, Lardy B, Klein G,
Sansonetti P, Charette SJ, Cosson, P. 2006. Specific host genes required
for the killing of Klebsiella
bacteria by phagocytes. Cell. Microb. 8:139-48.
Marchetti, A., Guého, A., Lima, W.C., Sattler, N., Molmeret, M., Hagedorn, M.,
Soldati, T., Cosson, P. 2011. Role of magnesium and a phagosomal P-type
ATPase in intracellular bacterial killing. Cell. Microb. 13:246-58.
M., Froquet, R., De Lima, W., Dias, M., Marchetti, A., Cosson, P. 2013.
Phg1/TM9 proteins control intracellular killing of bacteria by determining
cellular levels of the Kil1 sulfotransferase in Dictyostelium. PLOS One, 8:e53259.
- New alternative host
Bergeret E, Perrin J, Williams M,
Grunwald D. Engel E, Thevenon D, Taillebourg E, Bruckert F, Cosson P,
Fauvarque MO. 2008. TM9sf4 is required for Drosophila cellular immunity via cell adhesion
and phagocytosis. J. Cell Sci. 121:3325-34.
M., Simon, M., Marchetti, A., Ebert, D., Cosson, P. 2012. Daphnia magna, a host to evaluate
bacterial virulence. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78:593-5.