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Philippe Hauser Lab

Philippe Hauser, PhD, MER1
++41 (0)21 314 4084
++41 (0)79 556 2298

Research topics

Pneumocystis jirovecii is a microscopic fungus causing severe pneumonia in immuno-compromised patients (AIDS, transplantation recipients, leukemia, etc.). In the absence of an in vitro culture system, the biology of this fungus remains poorly known which complicates its study as well as prevention of the disease.

Genomics of P. jirovecii

Thanks to recent technical developments, we have sequenced and are currently analyzing P. jirovecii genome (see

Epidemiology of P. jirovecii

In order to improve prevention measures for patients at high risk for Pneumocystis pneumonia, we investigate the circulation of the pathogen among different categories of humans and search for eventual new sources of the infection. We previously showed that patients with active Pneumocystis pneumonia are a potential source of the infection in the hospital.

Resistance of P. jirovecii antifolates

Antifolates are the most efficient drugs for the prophylaxis and treatment of Pneumocystis pneumonia. However, breakthrough prophylaxis using antifolates is correlated with mutations in the target genes in strains isolated from patients. We study the resistance conferred by these mutations and their effect on the outcome of the disease.

Search for new therapeutic target against P. jirovecii i

In the absence of efficient therapy to replace antifolates, we look for new therapeutic targets. We determine the function of new potential drug target genes by their expression in model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (one picture shows a green-fluorescent P. jirovecii protein localized in the nuclear membrane of S. cerevisiae, the second picture shows S. cerevisiae nuclear and mitochondrial DNA stained in blue with DAPI). These recombinant strains are also used to search for new drugs.

Current lab members
Name Position Contact
Amanda Luraschi Diplomante
Sophie Chevalley Technician

Selected publications


1: Cissé OH, Pagni M, Hauser PM.
    Comparative genomics suggests that the human pathogenic fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii acquired obligate biotrophy through gene loss.
Genome Biol Evol. 2014 Jul 24;6(8):1938-48. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evu155.
2: Hauser PM, Bernard T, Greub G, Jaton K, Pagni M, Hafen GM.
    Microbiota present in cystic fibrosis lungs as revealed by whole genome sequencing.
PLoS One. 2014 ; 9:e90934.
3: Hauser PM, Kovacs JA.
    Molecular epidemiology of Pneumocystis outbreaks
In The Mycota Vol. XII: Human Fungal Pathogens, 2nd ed. (O. Kurzai, ed.).
4: Hauser PM.
    Genomic insights into the fungal pathogens of the genus pneumocystis: obligate biotrophs of humans and other mammals.
PLoS Pathog. 2014 Nov 6;10(11):e1004425. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004425. eCollection 2014 Nov.
5: Tissot F, Lamoth F, Hauser PM, Orasch C, Flückiger U, Siegemund M, Zimmerli S, Calandra T, Bille J, Eggimann P, Marchetti O.
    Beta-Glucan Antigenemia Anticipates Diagnosis of Blood Culture-Negative Intra-Abdominal Candidiasis.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013. 188:1100–1109.


1: Cissé OH, Almeida JMGCF, Fonseca Á, Kumar AA, Salojärvi J, Overmyer K, Hauser PM*, and Pagni M* (*contributed equally to this work)
    Genome Sequencing of the plant pathogen Taphrina deformans, the Causal Agent of Peach Leaf Curl
MBio. 2013 ; 4: e00055-13.
2: Hauser PM, Rabodonirina M, and Nevez G.
    Pneumocystis jirovecii genotypes involved in PCP outbreaks among renal transplant recipients.
Clin Infect Dis. 2013. 56:165-6
3: Rabodonirina M, Vaillant L, Taffé P, Nahimana A, Gillibert R-P, Vanhems P., and Hauser PM.
    Pneumocystis jirovecii Genotype Associated with Increased Death Rate of HIV-infected Patients with Pneumonia.
Emerg Infect Dis. 2013. 19:21-8.


1: Cissé OH, Pagni M, and Hauser PM.
    De novo assembly of the Pneumocystis jirovecii genome from a single bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a patient.
MBio. 2012. 4: doi:pii: e00428-12.
2: Furustrand Tafin U, Clauss M, Hauser PM, Bille J, Meis JF, Trampuz A.
    Isothermal microcalorimetry: a novel method for real-time determination of antifungal susceptibility of Aspergillus species.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012. 18: E241-5.
3: Pliquett RU, Asbe-Vollkopf A, Hauser PM, Lo Presti L, Hunfeld KP, Berger A, Scheuermann EH, Jung O, Geiger H, Hauser IA.
    A Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia outbreak in a single kidneytransplant center: role of Cytomegalovirus co-infection.
Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Inf. Dis. 2012. 31:2429-37.


1: Hauser PM, Bille J, Lass-Flörl C, Geltner C, Feldmesser M, Levi M, Patel H, Muggia V, Alexander B, Hughes M, Follett SA, Cui X, Leung F, Morgan G, Moody A, Perlin DS, Denning DW.
    Multicenter, prospective clinical evaluation of respiratory samples from subjects at risk for Pneumocystis jirovecii infection by use of a commercial real-time PCR assay.
J Clin Microbiol. 2011 May;49(5):1872-8.


1: Gianella S, Haeberli L, Joos B, Ledergerber B, Wüthrich RP, Weber R, Kuster H, Hauser PM, Fehr T, Mueller NJ.
    Molecular evidence of interhuman transmission in an outbreak of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia among renal transplant recipients.
Transpl Infect Dis. 2010 Feb;12(1):1-10.
2: Hauser PM, Burdet FX, Cissé OH, Keller L, Taffé P, Sanglard D, Pagni M.
    Comparative Genomics Suggests that the Fungal Pathogen Pneumocystis Is an Obligate Parasite Scavenging Amino Acids from Its Host's Lungs
PLoS ONE 5(12): e15152. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015152
3: Hauser PM, Nahimana A, Taffe P, Weber R, Francioli P, Bille J, Rabodonirina M.
    Interhuman transmission as a potential key parameter for geographical variation in the prevalence of Pneumocystis jirovecii dihydropteroate synthase mutations.
Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Aug 15;51(4):e28-33.


1: Cockell MM, Lo Presti L, Cerutti L, Cano Del Rosario E, Hauser PM, Simanis V.
    Functional differentiation of tbf1 orthologues in fission and budding yeasts.
Eukaryot Cell. 2009 Feb;8(2):207-16.
2: Lo Presti L, Cerutti L, Monod M, Hauser PM.
    Choice of an adequate promoter for efficient complementation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a case study.
Res Microbiol. 2009 Jul-Aug;160(6):380-8.


1: Nevez G, Chabé M, Rabodonirina M, Virmaux M, Dei-Cas E, Hauser PM, Totet A.
    Nosocomial Pneumocystis jirovecii infections.
Parasite. 2008 Sep;15(3):359-65.


1: Lo Presti L, Cockell M, Cerutti L, Simanis V, Hauser PM.
    Functional Characterization of Pneumocystis carinii brl1 by Transspecies Complementation Analysis.
Eukaryot Cell. 2007 Dec;6(12):2448-52. Epub 2007 Nov 9.


1: Hauser PM, Macreadie IG
    Isolation of the Pneumocystis carinii dihydrofolate synthase gene and functional complementation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006 Mar;256(2):244-50


1: Hocker B, Wendt C, Nahimana A, Tonshoff B, Hauser PM
    Molecular evidence of Pneumocystis transmission in pediatric transplant unit
Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Feb;11(2):330-2.


1: Meneau I, Sanglard D, Bille J, Hauser PM
    Pneumocystis jiroveci dihydropteroate synthase polymorphisms confer resistance to sulfadoxine and sulfanilamide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2004 Jul;48(7):2610-6

Last Update on 19.11.2014 - Publication credits - Legal information