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Project PEPSAN 2020-2023

Role of environmental contaminations in PEsticides on the resistance of fungal pathogens and health implications

The emergence of multi-resistant fungal pathogens represents a global threat to disease control and food safety. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is responsible for severe infections (aspergillosis), and the presence of strains of this fungus resistant to azole molecules used as fungicides is proven on all continents, with high associated mortality rates in humans (50 to 100%). The number of aspergillosis affecting humans and many animals (domestic and wild) has increased in recent decades throughout the world, becoming a public health and global health issue for wildlife.
Pathways for the acquisition of resistance of Aspergillus to fungicides may be found in the environment where azole fungicides are widely used. Recent results show the frequent presence of pesticide "cocktails" in soils (cultivated plots but also untreated areas in the agricultural mosaic) and invertebrates. Nitrogen fungicides are widely represented and birds living in agricultural areas are heavily contaminated by these fungicides.

The PEPSAN project is part of the "One health" concept and wants to characterize the relationships between fungicide levels in the environment, the emergence of resistant fungal pathogens and wildlife health (model organisms: blackbird and house sparrow). By improving the understanding of the conditions of emergence of risk situations, the project will provide tools to preserve human and animal health.

Budget : 47 500 € + thesis grant Support Défi sociétaux CNRS
Coordination : Clementine Fritsch and Steffi Rocchi
Project duration : 3 years

Partners :

  • UMR 7372 CEBC CNRS - University of La Rochelle
  • UMR 5805 EPOC CNRS - University of Bordeaux
  • UMR 5280 ISA CNRS - University Lyon 1
  • University of Szczecin, Dpt. Vertebrate Zoology and Anthropology, Poland

Keywords : pathogens, plant protection products, resistance, public health, ecosystem health

Learn more about the PEPSAN project
See the associated thesis scholarship

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