StartUniversityNewsAcademic Year 2019/2020Maciej Grzybek, Ph.D. with ...

Maciej Grzybek, Ph.D. with a BioRodDis research grant



Maciej Grzybek, Ph.D. from the Department of Tropical Parasitology of the Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine became a laureate in the BiodivERsA Call 2018 co-organized by the National Science Centre.

The BioRodDis project – Managing biodiversity in forests and urban green spaces dilution and amplification effects on rodent microbiomes and rodent-borne diseases will be conducted in cooperation with teams from France, Belgium, Germany and Ireland.

Understanding the relationships between wildlife biodiversity and zoonotic infectious diseases in a changing climate is a challenging issue that scientists must address to support further policy actions.

Our project aims at tackling this challenge by focusing on rodent-borne diseases in European temperate forests and large urban green spaces. Rodents are important reservoirs of zoonotic agents; forests and green spaces are environments where rodents are abundant, human/domestic-wildlife interactions are plausible to occur, and efforts are undertaken to preserve biodiversity.

The originality of this project is to extend previous research into four promising research directions:

  1. impact of coinfections on epidemiology,
  2. interactions between the gut microbiome and host susceptibility to infectious agents,
  3. influence of socio-economic contexts on human exposure to wildlife and;
  4. temporal variability of biodiversity/health relationships.

Using rodent sampling and large investigation of zoonotic agents and microbiome, we will establish an up-to-date, open database and maps of rodent-borne pathogens circulating in western-central European countries.

Overall, we aim to provide proof-of-concept that joint strategies between public health and conservation biology programs can help to prevent the emergence of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife. In addition to protocols, maps and lists of zoonotic pathogens, an important outcome will be the improvement of zoonose prevention policies through the dissemination of adapted surveillance, training and awareness campaigns designed with the active participation of stakeholders.

As a principal investigator of the Polish part of the project, Maciej Grzybek, Ph.D. was funded with 933 848 PLN. The total funding for the BioRodDis project is 1,123,930 Euros.