• Eric Muraille's Research Group
  • Eric Muraille's Research Group
  • Eric Muraille's Research Group

Eric Muraille

Host-pathogen relationship

Main topics

Despite many advances, infectious diseases remain the major causes of morbidity and mortality in much of the world. The goal of our research group is to improve our fine understanding of the factors that orchestrate antimicrobial host protective immune responses in vivo.


Since 2004, we are working on several different aspects at the interface between the host and Brucella, the bacteria responsible of brucellosis, a worldwide zoonosis. Our main objectives are: (i) the development and characterization of new more physiological experimental models of Brucella infection in mice (such as intranasal and intradermal infection models), (ii) the characterization of Brucella reservoir cells in vivo, (iii) the identification of immune effectors implicated in the control of primary and secondary infections, (iv) the identification of bacterial genes essential for the persistence of Brucella in tissues, (v) the development of a safer live attenuated vaccine candidate to protect animals against brucellosis.


Since 2020, we have also been working on the development of a vaccine candidate capable of protecting immunocompromised mice against intranasal infection by Acinetobacter baumannii, which is frequently responsible for serious infection in immunocompromised patients.


Our research works are interdisciplinary (immunology, microbiology) and involve a close cooperation between the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) (animal facility, immunohistofluorescent microscopic analysis) and Université de Namur (UNamur) (flow cytometry analysis, Biosafety Level 3 laboratory).



  • Brucella project: our activities are financed via a “research credit” grant from the FRS-FNRS (Belgium)
  • A. baumanii project: since 2023, our activities have been financed via the BAXERNA 2.0 project of the European Commission (Baxerna – Next-Generation Bacterial mRNA Vaccines). This project will establish a new vaccine development pipeline based on dramatically improved immunopeptidomics screening and innovative mRNA vaccine formulation. We will use our powerful new pipeline to develop novel mRNA vaccines against three bacterial pathogens that can persist within phagocytic cells: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium ulcerans, and Acinetobacter baumannii. (Acronym: EUAR135, Effective start/end date1/07/23 → 30/06/28).


Selected recent publications


Student training

During the master thesis and the thesis, students are trained in the following techniques:

- in vitro and in vivo Brucella and A. baumannii infectious models

- mouse infection models

- manipulation in biosafety level III (BL-3) laboratory

- flow cytometry analysis (FACS) (FACSCalibur and FACSVerse)

- immunohistofluorescence analysis



Important Note for students:

Our research involves the handling of animals in biosafety level 3 (BSL3) conditions. Animal handling requires legal training and handling in BSL3 conditions requires biosafety training. Consequently, we cannot accept students for internships for a period of less than one year.