Recognition, phagocytosis and killing of bacteria

The main research objectives of Professor Pierre Cosson's laboratory focus on the links between intracellular transport and immunology. He studies how phagocytic cells ingest and eliminate bacteria, pathogenic or not, using Dictyostelium as a model organism. The molecular mechanisms involved in bacterial clearance remain poorly understood, and his goal is to identify them, determine their quantitative significance and assess their specificity against different bacteria. In addition, his team is investigating how pathogenic bacteria evade being eliminated by phagocytes.


This research group uses the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum as a model system because of its similarity to mammalian phagocytic cells. They study various gene products involved in phagocytosis, with the aim of elucidating the processes of recognition, ingestion and intracellular elimination of bacteria. In addition, they study the bacterial survival strategies employed by pathogens such as Pseudomona aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Mycobacterium marinum, with the ultimate goal of understanding host-pathogen relationships.

In addition, Pierre Cosson's group is recognised for its contributions to the development of alternatives to animal experimentation, particularly in the field of antibody research. They have pioneered the use of recombinant antibodies and have created resources such as the ABCD database, the Geneva Antibody Facility and the journal Antibody Reports, dedicated to describing and characterising recombinant antibodies.


-Ayadi I, Lamrabet O, Munoz-Ruiz R, Jauslin T, Guilhen C, Cosson P. 2024. Extracellular and intracellular destruction of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Dictyostelium discoideum phagocytes mobilize different antibacterial mechanisms. Mol. Microb. 121: 69-84.

-Crespo-Yanez, X., Oddy, J., Lamrabet, O., Jauslin, T., Marchetti, A., Cosson, P. 2023. Sequential action of antibacterial effectors in Dictyostelium phagosomes. Mol. Microbiol. 119:74-85.

-Jauslin,T., Lamrabet, O., Crespo-Yañez, X., Marchetti, A., Ayadi, I., Ifrid, E., Guilhen, C., Leippe, M., Cosson, P. 2021. How phagocytic cells kill different bacteria: a quantitative analysis using Dictyostelium discoideum. mBio 12: e03169-20.

-Bodinier, R., Leiba, J., Sabra A., Jauslin T.N., Lamrabet O., Guilhen C., Marchetti A., Iwade Y., Kawata T., Lima W.C., Cosson P. 2019. LrrkA, a kinase with Leucine-Rich Repeats links folate sensing with Kil2 activity and intracellular killing. Cell Microbiol. e13129.

-Lelong, E., 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.

19 Mar 2024

Host response to pathogens