Home  <  Research Access PlanSitemapPrint
Répondant du site:

Gilbert Greub Lab

Gilbert Greub, MD-PhD, FAMH, Full Professor
++41 (0)21 314 4979
++41 (0)79 556 1795

Research topics

Discovery of new agents of pneumonia and miscarriage

To isolate new bacterial species, we employ an innovative cell culture system that uses free-living amoebae as cellular background. This amoebal co-culture technique selectively grows amoebae-resisting bacteria, i.e. potential pathogens to which humans are frequently exposed (since amoebae are widespread in water), that are highly resistant to water decontamination, and that resist destruction by human macrophages. Once isolated, the role of each new amoebae-resisting species is tested for its pathogenic potential by comparing seroprevalence in patients with and without pneumonia, and by demonstrating the presence of the bacteria in lower respiratory tract samples taken from patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology. This is achieved by developing new diagnostic approaches for each new species (PCR, improved cell culture, immunohistochemistry). For some selected species, we also develop an animal model of pneumonia. Using a similar approach, we recently identified the role of Waddlia chondrophila in miscarriage.

Study of the biology of Chlamydia-like organisms

Chlamydia-related bacteria such as Parachlamydia and Waddlia emerge as novel agents of pneumonia and miscarriage. However, their biology is as yet poorly studied. Thus, we started several genomic projects on various Chlamydia-related bacteria, in order to better understand the biology and evolution of these strict intracellular bacteria. We also aim at understanding how these Chlamydia-like bacteria interact with macrophages and at identifying genes that might be involved in the virulence of these obligate intracellular bacteria. Our work mainly focuses on the intracellular trafficking of Chlamydia-like organisms and on their impact on the host microbicidal effectors. Thus, we showed recently that Waddlia is able to recruit mitochondria thank to the actin and microtubule system (Figure).

Figure. Waddlia chondrophila (in green) within human macrophages (in red, tubulin of macrophages).

Current lab members
Name Position Contact
Antony Croxatto PhD, post-doc
Marie de Barsy PhD, post-doc
Nicolas Jacquier PhD, post-doc
Carole Kebbi PhD, post-doc
Linda Muller PhD student
Trestan Pillonel PhD student
Ludovic Pilloux PhD student
Manon Vouga PhD student
Aurélie Scherler Master student
Lucas Herrgott Master student
Sebastien Aeby Medical lab technician


Full publication list (2015-01-15 560 Ko)

Publications last 5 years (2015-02-06-5years 426 Ko)

Curriculum Vitae (2015-02-06 150 Ko)

Selected publications


1: Bertelli C, Aeby S, Chassot B, Clulow J, Hilfiker O, Rappo S, Ritzmann S, Schumacher P, Terrettaz C, Benaglio P, Falquet L, Farinelli L, Gharib WH, Goesmann A, Harshman K, Linke B, Miyazaki R, Rivolta C, Robinson-Rechavi M, van der Meer JR, Greub G.
    Sequencing and characterizing the genome of Estrella lausannensis as an undergraduate project: training students and biological insights.
Front Microbiol. 2015 Feb 19;6:101.
2: Jacquier N, Viollier PH, Greub G.
    The role of peptidoglycan in chlamydial cell division: towards resolving the chlamydial anomaly.
FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2015 Mar;39(2):262-75. doi: 10.1093/femsre/fuv001.
3: Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Domröse A, Becker E, Cisse OH, Hegemann JH, Greub G.
    OmpA family proteins and Pmp-like autotransporter: new adhesins of Waddlia chondrophila.
Pathog Dis. 2015 Aug;73(6):ftv035.
4: Pillonel T, Bertelli C, Salamin N, Greub G.
    Taxogenomics of the order Chlamydiales.
Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2015 Apr;65(Pt 4):1381-93.
5: Pilloux L, Casson N, Sommer K, Klos A, Stehle JC, Pusztaszeri M, Greub G.
    Severe pneumonia due to Parachlamydia acanthamoebae following intranasal inoculation: A mice model.
Microbes Infect. 2015 Sep 1. pii: S1286-4579(15)00167-7.
6: Rusconi B, Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Greub G.
    Trafficking of Estrella lausannensis in human macrophages.
Pathog Dis. 2015 Jul;73(5). pii: ftv027.


1: Asner SA, Jaton K, Kyprianidou S, Nowak AM, Greub G.
    Chlamydia pneumoniae, possible association with asthma in children.
Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Feb 13
2: Baud D, Goy G, Osterheld MC, Croxatto A, Borel N, Vial Y, Pospischil A, Greub G.
    Role of Waddlia chondrophila placental infection in miscarriage.
Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Mar;20(3):460-4.
3: Baud D, Zufferey J, Hohlfeld P, Greub G.
    Performance of an automated multiplex immunofluorescence assay for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis immunoglobulin G.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Mar;78(3):217-9. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2013.11.022.
4: Bertelli C, Goesmann A, Greub G.
    Criblamydia sequanensis Harbors a Megaplasmid Encoding Arsenite Resistance.
Genome Announc. 2014 Oct 23;2(5).
5: Croxatto A, Rieille N, Kernif T, Bitam I, Aeby S, Péter O, Greub G.
    Presence of Chlamydiales DNA in ticks and fleas suggests that ticks are carriers of Chlamydiae.
Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2014
6: Frandi A, Jacquier N, Théraulaz L, Greub G, Viollier PH.
    FtsZ-independent septal recruitment and function of cell wall remodelling enzymes in chlamydial pathogens.
Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 23;5:4200.
7: Jacquier N, Frandi A, Pillonel T, Viollier P, Greub G.
    Cell wall precursors are required to organize the chlamydial division septum.
Nat Commun. 2014;5:3578-3588.
8: Lienard J, Croxatto A, Gervaix A, Posfay-Barbe K, Baud D, Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Greub G.
    Undressing of Waddlia chondrophila to enrich its outer membrane proteins to develop a new species-specific ELISA.
New Microbes New Infect. 2014 Jan;2(1):13-24.


1: Bavoil P, Kaltenboeck B, Greub G.
    In Chlamydia veritas.
Pathog Dis. 2013 Mar;67(2):89-90.
2: Bertelli C, Greub G.
    Rapid bacterial genome sequencing: methods and applications in clinical microbiology.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013 Apr 18.
3: Clarke M, Lohan AJ, Liu B, Lagkouvardos I, Roy S, Zafar N, Bertelli C, Schilde C, Kianianmomeni A, Burglin TR, Frech C, Turcotte B, Kopec KO, Synnott JM, Choo C, Paponov I, Finkler A, Soon Heng Tan C, Hutchins AP, Weinmeier T, Rattei T, Chu JS, Gimenez G, Irimia M, Rigden DJ, Fitzpatrick DA, Lorenzo-Morales J, Bateman A, Chiu CH, Tang P, Hegemann P, Fromm H, Raoult D, Greub G, Miranda-Saavedra D, Chen N, Nash P, Ginger ML, Horn M, Schaap P, Caler L, Loftus B.
    Genome of Acanthamoeba castellanii highlights extensive lateral gene transfer and early evolution of tyrosine kinase signaling.
Genome Biol. 2013 Feb 1;14(2):R11.
4: Clerc O, Prod’hom G, Vogne C, Bizzini A, Calandra T, and Greub G.
    Impact of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) on the clinical management of patients with Gram-negative bacteremia: a prospective observational study.
Clin Infect Dis, 2013.
5: Croxatto A, Murset V, Chassot B, Greub G.
    Early expression of the type III secretion system of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae during a replicative cycle within its natural host cell Acanthamoeba castellanii.
Pathog Dis. 2013 Dec;69(3):159-75. doi: 10.1111/2049-632X.12065.
6: Jacquier N, Aeby S, Lienard J, Greub G.
    Discovery of new intracellular pathogens by amoebal coculture and amoebal enrichment approaches.
J Vis Exp. 2013 Oct 27;(80):e51055. doi: 10.3791/51055.
7: Prod'hom G, Durussel C, Greub G.
    A simple blood-culture bacterial pellet preparation for faster accurate direct bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing with the VITEK 2 system.
J Med Microbiol. 2013 May;62(Pt 5):773-7. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.049361-0.
8: Rusconi B, Greub G.
    Discovery of catalases in members of the Chlamydiales order.
J Bacteriol. 2013 Aug;195(16):3543-51. doi: 10.1128/JB.00563-13.
9: Rusconi B, Lienard J, Aeby S, Croxatto A, Bertelli C, Greub G.
    Crescent and star shapes of members of the Chlamydiales order: impact of fixative methods.
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2013 Oct;104(4):521-32. doi: 10.1007/s10482-013-9999-9.
10: de Barsy M, Greub G.
    Functional genomics of intracellular bacteria.
Brief Funct Genomics. 2013 Apr 5.
11: de Barsy M, Greub G.
    Waddlia chondrophila: from biology to pathogenicity.
Microbes Infect. 2013 Dec;15(14-15):1033-41. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2013.09.010.


1: Bertelli C, Greub G.
    Lateral gene exchanges shape the genomes of amoeba-resisting microorganisms.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2012;2:110.
2: Blanc DS, Nahimana I, Zanetti G, Greub G.
    MRSA screening by the Xpert MRSA PCR assay: pooling samples of the nose, throat, and groin increases the sensitivity of detection without increasing the laboratory costs.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012.
3: Croxatto A, Prod'hom G, Greub G.
    Applications of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in clinical diagnostic microbiology.
FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2012 Mar;36(2):380-407.
4: Giulieri S, Jaton K, Cometta A, Trellu LT, Greub G.
    Development of a duplex real-time PCR for the detection of Rickettsia spp. and typhus group rickettsia in clinical samples.
FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2012 Feb;64(1):92-7.
5: Greub G.
    Culturomics: a new approach to study the human microbiome.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012 Dec;18(12):1157-9.
6: Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Lienard J, Uyttebroeck F, Baud D, Riederer BM, Greub G.
    Identification of immunogenic proteins of Waddlia chondrophila.
PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e28605. Epub 2012 Jan 4.
7: Taylor M, Mediannikov O, Raoult D, Greub G.
    Endosymbiotic bacteria associated with nematodes, ticks and amoebae.
FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2012 Feb;64(1):21-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2011.00916.x.


1: Baud D, Goy G, Jaton K, Osterheld MC, Blumer S, Borel N, Vial Y, Hohlfeld P, Pospischil A, Greub G.
    Role of Chlamydia trachomatis in Miscarriage.
Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Sep;17(9):1630-5.
2: Baud D, Goy G, Osterheld MC, Borel N, Vial Y, Pospischil A, Greub G.
    Waddlia chondrophila: From Bovine Abortion to Human Miscarriage.
Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jun;52(12):1469-71. Epub 2011 Apr 14.
3: Baud D, Greub G.
    Intracellular bacteria and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 Sep;17(9):1312-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03604.x
4: Gimenez G, Bertelli C, Moliner C, Robert C, Raoult D, Fournier PE, Greub G.
    Insight into cross-talk between intra-amoebal pathogens.
BMC Genomics. 2011 Nov 2;12:542.
5: Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Batista C, Greub G.
    Permissivity of fish cell lines to three Chlamydia-related bacteria: Waddlia chondrophila, Estrella lausannensis and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae.
FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2011 Dec;63(3):339-45.
6: Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Cisse O, Greub G.
    Permissivity of Vero cells, human pneumocytes and human endometrial cells to Waddlia chondrophila.
Microbes Infect. 2011 Jun;13(6):566-74.
7: Lienard J, Croxatto A, Aeby S, Jaton K, Posfay-Barbe K, Gervaix A, Greub G.
    Development of a new Chlamydiales-specific real-time PCR and its application to respiratory clinical samples.
J Clin Microbiol. 2011 May 11. [Epub ahead of print]
8: Lienard J, Croxatto A, Prod'hom G, Greub G.
    Estrella lausannensis, a new star in the Chlamydiales order.
Microbes Infect. 2011 Jul 26. [Epub ahead of print]
9: Rusconi B, Greub G.
    Chlamydiales and the innate immune response: friend or foe?
FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2011 Apr;61(3):231-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2010.00772.x.
10: Senn L, Jaton K, Fitting JW, Greub G.
    Does respiratory infection due to Chlamydia pneumoniae still exist?
Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Oct;53(8):847-8.
11: Thomas V, Bertelli C, Collyn F, Casson N, Telenti A, Goesmann A, Croxatto A, Greub G.
    Lausannevirus, a giant amoebal virus encoding histone doublets.
Environ Microbiol. 2011 Jun;13(6):1454-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02446.x.


1: Baud D, Regan L, Greub G.
    Comparison of five commercial serological tests for the detection of anti-Chlamydia trachomatis antibodies.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Jun;29(6):669-75.
2: Bertelli C, Collyn F, Croxatto A, Rückert C, Polkinghorne A, Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Goesmann A, Vaughan L, Greub G.
    The Waddlia genome: a window into chlamydial biology.
PLoS One. 2010 May 28;5(5):e10890.
3: Corsaro D, Michel R, Walochnik J, Müller KD, Greub G.
    Saccamoeba lacustris, sp. nov. (Amoebozoa: Lobosea: Hartmannellidae), a new lobose amoeba, parasitized by the novel chlamydia 'Candidatus Metachlamydia lacustris' (Chlamydiae: Parachlamydiaceae).
Eur J Protistol. 2010 May;46(2):86-95.
4: Corsaro D, Pages GS, Catalan V, Loret JF, Greub G.
    Biodiversity of amoebae and amoeba-associated bacteria in water treatment plants.
Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2010 Jun;213(3):158-66.
5: Croxatto A, Greub G.
    Early intracellular trafficking of Waddlia chondrophila in human macrophages.
Microbiology. 2010 Feb;156(Pt2):340-55.
6: Lamoth F, Greub G.
    Amoebal pathogens as emerging causal agents of pneumonia.
FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2010.
7: Loret JF, Greub G.
    Free-living amoebae: Biological by-passes in water treatment.
Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2010 Jun;213(3):167-75.
8: Roger T, Casson N, Croxatto A, Entenza JM, Pusztaszeri M, Akira S, Reymond MK, Le Roy D, Calandra T, Greub G.
    Role of MyD88 and Toll-like receptors 2 and 4 in the sensing of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae.
Infect Immun. 2010 Dec;78(12):5195-201.
9: Thomas V, Greub G.
    Amoeba/amoebal symbiont genetic transfers: lessons from giant virus neighbours.
Intervirology. 2010 Jun;53(5):254-67.


1: Baud D, Goy G, Gerber S, Vial Y, Hohlfeld P, Greub G.
    Evidence of maternal-fetal transmission of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae.
Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 Jan;15(1):120-1.
2: Corsaro D, Feroldi V, Saucedo G, Ribas F, Loret JF, Greub G.
    Novel Chlamydiales strains isolated from a water treatment plant.
Environ Microbiol. 2009 Jan;11(1):188-200.
3: Dang T, Jaton-Ogay K, Flepp M, Kovari H, Evison JM, Fehr J, Schmid P, Boffi El Amari E, Cavassini M, Odorico M, Tarr PE, Greub G.
    High prevalence of anorectal chlamydial infection in HIV-infected men who have sex with men in Switzerland.
Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Nov 15;49(10):1532-5.
4: Goy G, Croxatto A, Posfay-Barbe KM, Gervaix A, Greub G.
    Development of a real-time PCR for the specific detection of Waddlia chondrophila in clinical samples.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009 Dec;28(12):1483-6.
5: Goy G, Greub G.
    Antibiotic susceptibility of Waddlia chondrophila in Acanthamoeba castellanii amoeba.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 Jun;53(6):2663-6.
6: Greub G, Kebbi-Beghdadi C, Bertelli C, Collyn F, Riederer BM, Yersin C, Croxatto A, Raoult D.
    High throughput sequencing and proteomics to identify immunogenic proteins of a new pathogen: the dirty genome approach.
PLoS One. 2009 Dec 23;4(12):e8423.
7: Greub G.
    Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, an emerging agent of pneumonia.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Jan;15(1):18-28.
8: Lamoth F, Aeby S, Schneider A, Jaton-Ogay K, Vaudaux B, Greub G.
    Parachlamydia and rhabdochlamydia in premature neonates.
Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 Dec;15(12):2072-5.


1: Baud D, Jaton K, Bertelli C, Kulling JP, Greub G.
    Low prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in asymptomatic young Swiss men.
BMC Infect Dis. 2008 Apr 12;8:45.
2: Baud D, Regan L, Greub G.
    Emerging role of Chlamydia and Chlamydia-like organisms in adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2008 Feb;21(1):70-76
3: Casson N, Entenza JM, Borel N, Pospischil A, Greub G.
    Murine model of pneumonia caused by Parachlamydia acanthamoebae.
Microb Pathog. 2008 Aug;45(2):92-7.
4: Casson N, Michel R, Müller KD, Aubert JD, Greub G.
    Protochlamydia neagleriophila as etiologic agent of pneumonia.
Em Infect Dis 2008; 14:168-172
5: Casson N, Posfay-Barbe KM, Gervaix A, Greub G.
    New diagnostic real-time PCR for specific detection of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae DNA in clinical samples.
J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Apr;46(4):1491-3. Epub 2008 Jan 30.
6: Goy G, Croxatto A, Greub G.
    Waddlia chondrophila enters and multiplies within human macrophages.
Microbes Infect. 2008 Apr;10(5):556-62.
7: Loret JF, Jousset M, Robert S, Saucedo G, Ribas F, Thomas V, Greub G.
    Amoebae-resisting bacteria in drinking water: risk assessment and management.
Water Sci Technol. 2008;58(3):571-577.
8: Thomas V, Loret JF, Jousset M, Greub G.
    Biodiversity of amoebae and amoebae-resisting bacteria in a drinking water treatment plant.
Environ Microbiol. 2008 Oct;10(10):2728-45.


1: Baud D, Thomas V, Arafa A, Regan L, Greub G.
    Waddlia chondrophila, a potential agent of human fetal death.
Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Aug;13(8):1239-43
2: Boillat N, Greub G.
    Approche clinique des rickettsioses.
Rev Med Suisse 2007;3:1222-1227.
3: Borel N, Ruhl S, Casson N, Kaiser C, Pospischil A, Greub G.
    Parachlamydia spp. and Related Chlamydia-like Organisms and Bovine Abortion
Em Infect Dis 2007; 13:1904-1907
4: Casson N, Entenza JM, Greub G.
    Serological cross-reactivity between different Chalmydia-like organisms.
J Clin Microbiol. 2007 Jan;45(1):234-6. Epub 2006 Oct 25
5: Corsaro D, Thomas V, Goy G, Venditti D, Radek R, Greub G
    'Candidatus Rhabdochlamydia crassificans', an intracellular bacterial pathogen of the cockroach Blatta orientalis (Insecta: Blattodea).
Syst Appl Microbiol. 2007 Apr;30(3):221-8. Epub 2006 Aug 24.
6: Eugster M, Roten CA, Greub G.
    Analyses of six homologous proteins of Protochlamydia amoebophila UWE25 encoded by large GC-rich genes (lgr): a model of evolution and concatenation of leucine-rich repeats.
BMC Evol Biol. 2007 Nov 16;7(1):231
7: Goy G, Thomas V, Rimann K, Jaton K, Prod'hom G, Greub G.
    The Neff strain of Acanthamoeba castellanii, a tool for testing the virulence of Mycobacterium kansasii
Res Microbiol. 2007 Feb 20; [Epub ahead of print]
8: Jaton K et Greub G
    PCR en microbiologie: de l'amplification de l'ADN à l'interprétation du résultat
Rev Med Suisse 2007;3:391-398
9: Thomas V, Casson N, Greub G
    New Afipia and Bosea strains isolated from various water sources by amoebal co-culture.
Syst Appl Microbiol. 2007 Nov;30(7):572-9. Epub 2007 Aug 16.


1: Casson N, Greub G.
    Resistance of different Chlamydia-like organisms to quinolones and mutations in the quinoline resistance-determining region of the DNA gyrase A- and topoisomerase-encoding genes.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2006 Jun;27(6):541-4.
2: Casson N, Medico N, Bille J, Greub G.
    Parachlamydia acanthamoebae enters and multiplies within pneumocytes and lung fibroblasts.
Microbes Infect. 2006 Apr;8(5):1294-300.
3: Corsaro D, Greub G.
    Pathogenic potential of novel Chlamydiae and diagnostic approaches to infections due to these obligate intracellular bacteria.
Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Apr;19(2):283-97. Review.
4: Jaton K, Bille J, Greub G.
    A novel real-time PCR to detect Chlamydia trachomatis in first-void urine or genital swabs.
J Med Microbiol. 2006 Dec;55(Pt 12):1667-74.
5: Thomas V, Casson N, Greub G.
    Criblamydia sequanensis, a new intracellular Chlamydiales isolated from Seine river water using amoebal co-culture.
Environ Microbiol. 2006 Dec;8(12):2125-35
6: Thomas V, Herrera-Rimann K, Blanc DS, Greub G.
    Biodiversity of amoebae and amoeba-resisting bacteria in a hospital water network.
J Clin Microbiol. 2007 Jan;45(1):234-236. Epub 2006 Oct 25


1: Greub G, Collyn F, Guy L, Roten CA.
    A genomic island present along the bacterial chromosome of the Parachlamydiaceae UWE25, an obligate amoebal endosymbiont, encodes a potentially functional F-like conjugative DNA transfer system.
BMC Microbiol. 2004 Dec 22;4(1):48
2: Greub G, Desnues B, Raoult D, Mege JL.
    Lack of microbicidal response in human macrophages infected with Parachlamydia acanthamoebae.
Microbes Infect. 2005 Apr;7(4):714-9. Epub 2005 Mar 21.
3: Greub G, Lepidi H. Rovery C, Casalta JP, Habib G, Collard F, Fournier PE, Raoult D.
    Diagnosis of infectious endocarditis in patients undergoing valve surgery.
Am J Med. 2005 Mar;118(3):230-8
4: Greub G, Mege JL, Gorvel JL, Raoult D, Meresse S
    Intracellular trafficking of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae.
Cell Microbiol. 2005 Apr;7(4):581-9.
5: Senn L, Hammerschlag M, Greub G
    Therapeutic approaches to Chlamydia infections.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2005 Oct;6(13):2281-90. Review.

Last Update on 11.09.2015 - Publication credits - Legal information