Alice Balard

Alice Balard
Queen Mary, University of London | QMUL · School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

PhD, DVM
MSCA fellow at QMUL, London UK

About

12
Publications
1,778
Reads
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62
Citations
Citations since 2016
11 Research Items
62 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022051015
Additional affiliations
April 2021 - present
Queen Mary, University of London
Position
  • Fellow
April 2016 - January 2021
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Co-evolution of house mouse and an intracellular parasite, Eimeria spp.
April 2015 - April 2016
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • PhD student in the Länderinstitüt fur Bienenkunde (LIB), working on infections of honey bees and bumblebees with Nosema ceranae, a deadly emerging parasite of bees.
Education
September 2012 - June 2013
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
Field of study
  • Biology/Health/Ecology, Speciality Environment and Management of Biodiversity
September 2008 - December 2013
École Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort
Field of study
  • Veterinary medicine

Publications

Publications (12)
Article
Full-text available
Parasites have been proposed to modulate the fitness of hybridizing hosts in part based on observations in the European house mouse hybrid zone (HMHZ), a tension zone in which hybrids show reduced fitness. We here review evidence (1) for parasite load differences in hybrid versus parental mice and (2) for health and fitness effects of parasites pro...
Article
Full-text available
Background Counting parasite transmission stages in faeces is the classical measurement to quantify “parasite load”. DNA-based quantifications of parasite intensities from faecal samples are relatively novel and often validated against such counts. When microscopic and molecular quantifications do not correlate, it is unclear whether oocyst counts...
Article
Full-text available
Resistance (host capacity to reduce parasite burden) and tolerance (host capacity to reduce impact on its health for a given parasite burden) manifest two different lines of defense. Tolerance can be independent from resistance, traded off against it, or the two can be positively correlated because of redundancy in underlying (immune) processes. We...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Intracellular parasites of the genus Eimeria are described as tissue/host‐specific. Phylogenetic classification of rodent Eimeria suggested that some species have a broader host range than previously assumed. We explore whether Eimeria spp. infecting house mice are misclassified by the most widely used molecular markers due to a lack of re...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic diversity in animal immune systems is usually beneficial. In hybrid recombinants, this is less clear, as the immune system could also be impacted by genetic conflicts. In the European house mouse hybrid zone, the longstanding impression that hybrid mice are more highly parasitized and less fit than parentals persists despite the findings of...
Preprint
Full-text available
The longstanding impression that hybrid mice are more highly parasitized and therefore less fit than parentals persists despite the findings of recent studies. Working across a novel transect of the European House Mouse hybrid zone we assessed intracellular infections by Eimeria , a parasite of high pathogenicity, and infections by pinworms, assume...
Article
Full-text available
Detection and quantification of coccidia in studies of wildlife can be challenging. Therefore, prevalence of coccidia is often not assessed at the parasite species level in non-livestock animals. Parasite species - specific prevalences are especially important when studying evolutionary questions in wild populations. We tested whether increased hos...
Preprint
Full-text available
Detection and quantification of coccidia in studies of wildlife can be challenging. Therefore, the prevalence of coccidia is often not assessed at the parasite species level in non-livestock animals. Parasite species-specific prevalences are especially important when studying evolutionary questions in wild populations. We tested whether increased h...
Preprint
Full-text available
Species of Eimeria (Apicomplexa:Coccidia) differ in the timing of lifecycle progression and resulting infections vary in host immune reactions and pathology they induce. Eimeria infections in house mice are used as models for basic immunology and the most commonly used isolates have been passaged in laboratory mice for over 50 years. We questioned...
Article
Rapid, cost‐effective, efficient and reliable helminth species identification is of considerable importance to understand host‐parasite interactions, clinical disease and drug resistance. Cyathostomins (Nematoda: Strongylidae) are considered to be the most important equine parasites, yet research on this group has been hampered by the large number...
Research
Full-text available
Veterinarian thesis, december 2013. Awarded by a bronze medal by the ENVA´s teachers council on the 9th July 2015. First, we have focused on methods of species classification. We have identified the theoretical and practical elements that explain the changes in species distribution over time, particularly in relation to climate change. We further...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The aim of this project is to characterize immune responses of mice from different backgrounds. We use standard laboratory SWISS, wild-derived and wild mice to build a model that will help researchers understand behaviour of mouse models during simple prtozoan infection. Most of the work revolves around gene expression, protein abundance, qPCR infection detection and cell sorting.
Project
The role of parasitism as main component of hybridization process in the European house mouse hybrid zone has been discussed for decades. Using extracellular (pinworms) and intracellular (Eimeria) parasites, expected to trigger different immune pathways, in a large field sampling, we showed a similar pattern of increased resistance of hybrids compared to parental mice. Our work adds conclusive new results to a long standing debate on parasite intensities in this important host-parasite system. Then, we measured jointly resistance and tolerance to the closely related E. falciformis and E. ferrisi in a laboratory infection of wild-derived mice. We found a trade-off between resistance and tolerance for the first parasite, and that these defense mechanisms were decoupled for the second parasite. Building on previous research showing that resistance and tolerance should be studied jointly, we conclude that assumptions on coupling of the two can not be transferred across even closely related parasite taxa.