- Disease ecology
- Microbiome-pathogen interactions
- Host disease resistance
- Population genetics
- Host-virus co-evolution
As an important reservoir of diseases with zoonotic potential, bats have come into the focus of research - most recently enforced by the Corona pandemic. Bats represent the second largest mammalian order after rodents, often living together in large colonies and are highly mobile. Understanding the factors that influence disease transmission, virus evolution, reservoir ecology, and host switching is central to gain functional insights into their zoonotic potential. In this context, as a major contributor to host immune defence, the gut microbiota is of particular interest.
I am investigating how infection with coronaviruses affects genetic diversity and the microbiome in an African bat species complex. To this end, thousands of bat tissue and fecal samples of diverse bat species were collected from various caves in Ghana and currently their genetic constitution (MHC, SNPs), gut microbiome and metagenomic functional diversity is under investigation. Genetic background, co-infections with other viruses, pathogens or parasites as well as environmental effects will be considered, allowing us to discriminate between phylogenetic, environmental, intrinsic and virus-related effects (Project: ‘Effects of Corona and Astrovirus infections on the gut microbiomes of bats: the Hipposideros species complex as a model for virus-induced increase of pathogenic bacteria in highly gregarious mammals’, DFG SO 428/17-1).
- Dr. Magdalena Meyer
Institute of Evolutionary Ecology
and Conservation Genomics
University of Ulm
Tel: 0731 - 50 22 641
Email: magdalena.meyer () uni-ulm.de