Presentation on the diversity and geographical distribution of pathogenic microorganisms
24 October, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Overview of the presentation Although the biogeography of animals and plants has been extensively studied worldwide, the existence of biogeographical patterns for microbes is still controversial. In my talk, I will use data gathered on pathogenic Leptospira, a zoonotic pathogen of major medical concern in Seychelles and in South Western Indian ocean islands, to show that the diversity and geographical distribution of pathogenic microorganisms is tightly linked to the evolutionary history of their vertebrate hosts. About the presenter Pablo Tortosa has been working in molecular bacteriology during his PhD (Paris, France), Post Doc (NYC, USA) and in La Réunion (France) as associate Professor. The models he has been working on include Bacillus subtilis, Wolbachia pipientis and pathogenic Leptospira. This latter species is an environmental zoonotic pathogen that he has been extensively studying for the last 5-7 years. The team he leads at UMR PIMIT/University of La Réunion has described Leptospira diversity and biological cycles in most of the islands of the western Indian Ocean, showing fairly distinct transmission chains in the different insular ecosystems, including either introduced species/lineages or endemic bacteria that have co-evolved with their mammalian reservoirs. Beside pathogenic Leptospira, Pablo Tortosa is interested in developing innovative and environmental-friendly strategies for the control of the tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus, using his academic experience in Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria.