The Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive LBBE (https://lbbe.univ-lyon1.fr/fr) is welcoming applications from enthusiastic and independent Post-doctoral candidates to participate to a starting research projects on the ecology of orthonairoviruses, RESPOND.
Context: The genus Orthonairovirus is a rapidly emerging group of tick-borne bunyaviruses that includes important pathogens of humans and livestock, as well as a collection of other viruses about which little is known notably regarding their pathogenic potential to humans and animals, not even the hosts in which they naturally circulate. Among them, Crimean-Congo Hemorragic Fever Virus (CCHFV) is nowadays the most important Orthonairovirus in terms of human disease, causing severe forms of hemorrhagic fever, with increased numbers of sporadic cases and outbreaks over the years. Other orthonairoviruses have also been associated with milder disease forms. The presence of CCHFV outside the endemic areas was recently evidenced in ticks recovered from Iberian ibex, deer and wild boar in Spain. Recently, serological evidence of CCHFV was reported, in cattle from Corsica (Grech-Angelini et al., 2020) and in wild ungulates in Spain (Espunyes et al. 2021).
Objectives: While studies report the presence of CCHF and other orthonairoviruses in various areas and species, knowledge on the determinants of exposure to orthonairoviruses of tick’s hosts and the consequences of these viruses on their fitness remain poor. The intensive monitoring of the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and the wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the French populations of Chizé (roe deer and wild boar), Trois-Fontaines and Aurignac (roe deer) might help to gain such knowledge. These research programs result in longitudinal follow-up of known-aged individuals over lifetime and an assessment of population dynamics and evolutionary processes.
Samples of serum are available from the roe deer captured since 2010 and samples will be collected on wild boar. The candidate will participate to the analyses of these serum samples to detect antibodies to CCHFV and other orthonairoviruses. Ticks will be collected during the study period both on captured roe deer / wild boar and in the field. Ticks will be screened for orthonairovirus sequences. Prevalence and distribution of the identified orthonairoviruses will be determined according to the host species’ characteristics (e.g. sex, age, immune status), and species of tick harbored.
Data from roe deer and ticks will be pooled to identify i) the individual (e.g. sex, age) and ecological determinants of orthonairovirus infection by of roe deer and wild boar; and ii) the consequences of orthonairovirus infection on their health (e.g. through an assessment of immune performance or parasitic load), reproductive performance and survival.
The LBBE is part of CNRS (Unit 5558) and University of Lyon (University Claude Bernard Lyon 1). Research topics encompass various aspects of Biometry (or Biostatistics) and Evolutionary Biology. The laboratory comprises 96 permanent positions and about as many post-graduate students and post-docs. Research themes in the lab are clustered around a methodology (emphasizing the importance of modeling and informatics in life and medical sciences), and an evolutionary perspective, regardless of the investigation level (from molecules to communities). This double angle results in a synergy between methodological developments and biological questions.
Candidates: The applicants are expected to have a strong background in serological diagnostic molecular biology. Prior experience in epidemiology and analysis of complex ecological data, and international training will constitute an advantage. Proven ability to identify research objectives and meet agreed deadlines, self-motivation, flexibility, and assistance to others ongoing research works are essential. The ideal candidates should be highly motivated, curious and enthusiastic to work in a collaborative team. Excellent written and communication skills in English are required.
Application: Candidates are invited to contact Emmanuelle Gilot-Fromont (email@example.com) and Gilles Bourgoin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details. Please send an application with the following:
– Cover letter
– Concise summary of previous research activities
– Curriculum vitae including publication list and contact details for 2-3 referees