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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Plant pathology unit - INRA AVIGNON

Pathologie vegetale

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Etiology of emerging viral diseases

Viruses infecting vegetable and horticultural crops constitute a mosaic of complex pathosystems due to the important number of cultivated species at risk, the diversity of cropping systems (open field, greenhouse, soil-less, conventional, integrated organic production) and the large number of different virus species infecting each crop species. In the last few years, in France as well as in other countries, a rapid evolution of these pathosystems has been observed in relation to many factors: intensification of worldwide commercial exchanges, rapid turn-over of cultivars, and changes in climate and cultural practices. An accurate knowledge of the pathosystem and its evolution, as well as good diagnostic tools, are required to anticipate and prevent/limit the impact of virus emergences. Virology team is also involved in the lavender decline associated with phytoplasma.

Tobamoviruses are common in pepper-derived food products

Tobamoviruses are common in

pepper-derived food products

In collaboration with URMITE (Research unit on emerging infectious and tropical diseases) in Marseille, this team have also studied if plant viruses could have an impact on human health. Although no clear pathogenicity of plant viruses was demonstrated, this work showed that tobamoviruses are common in human stool, tobacco and pepper-derived food products. Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) could persist and enter in cells in mammals, which raises questions about the potential interactions between TMV and human hosts.


  • Balique, F., Colson, P., Barry, A. O., Nappez, C., Ferretti, A., Moussawi, K. A., Ngounga, T., Lepidi, H., Ghigo, E., Mege, J.-L., Lecoq, H., Raoult, D. (2013). Tobacco mosaic virus in the lungs of mice following intra-tracheal inoculation. Plos One, 8, e54993. DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0054993
  • Balique, F., Colson, P., Raoult, D. (2012). Tobacco mosaic virus in cigarettes and saliva of smokers. Journal of Clinical Virology, 55, 374-376. DOI : 10.1016/j.jcv.2012.08.012
  • Balique, F., Lecoq, H., Raoult, D., Colson, P. (2015). Can plant viruses cross the kingdom border and be pathogenic to humans?. Viruses, 7, 2074-2098. DOI : 10.3390/v7042074
  • Colson, P., Richet, H., Desnues, C., Balique, F., Moal, V., Grob, J.-J., Berbis, P., Lecoq, H., Harlé, J.-R., Berland, Y., Raoult, D. (2010). Pepper mild mottle virus, a plant virus associated with specific immune responses, fever, abdominal pains, and pruritus in humans. Plos One, 5, e10041. DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0010041
  • Moury, B., Fabre, F., Hébrard, E., Froissart, R. (2017). Determinants of host species range in plant viruses. Journal of General Virology, 98, 862-873. DOI : 10.1099/jgv.0.000742