• Maître de Conférences - Assistant Professor


  • Responsable de l’Unité d’Enseignement « Pathogènes, Virulence et Antimicrobiens », niveau Master, Université de Poitiers.
  • Co-responsable de l’Unité d’Enseignement « Médiation Scientifique », niveau Master, Université de Poitiers.
  • Responsable du Parcours Microbiologie et Immunologie, Master Biologie-Santé

Thèmes de Recherche

Interactions amibes libres – bactéries


Amibes libres, Acanthamoeba castellanii, bactérie, signalisation cellulaire

Publications représentative

  • Samba-Louaka A., Robino E., Cochard T., Branger M., Delafont V., Aucher W., Wambeke W., Bannantine J.P., Biet F. and Héchard Y. (2018) Environmental Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis hosted by free-living amoebae. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, feb 9;8:28.
  • Mengue L, Régnacq M, Aucher W, Portier E, Hechard Y and Samba-Louaka A (2016) Legionella pneumophila prevents proliferation of its natural host Acanthamoeba castellanii. Scientific reports, 6, 36448, doi:10.1038/srep36448.
  • Samba-Louaka A., Pereira J.M., Nahori M.A., Villiers V., Deriano L., Hamon M.A., and Cossart P. (2014). Listeria monocytogenes dampens the DNA damage response. PLoS Pathogens 10, e1004470
  •  Rolland S., Mengue L., Noël C., Crapart S., Mercier A., Aucher W., Héchard Y. and Samba-Louaka A. (2020) Encystment Induces Down-Regulation of an Acetyltransferase-Like Gene in Acanthamoeba castellanii. Pathogens 9 (5), 321.
  • Samba-Louaka A., Nougayrède JP., Watrin C., Jubelin G., Oswald E. and Taieb F. (2008) Bacterial cyclomodulin Cif blocks the host cell cycle by stabilizing the CDK inhibitors p21waf1 and p27kip1. Cellular Microbiology 10(12): 2496-2508.Samba-Louaka A., Delafont V., Rodier MH. Cateau E and Héchard Y. (2019) Free-living amoebae and squatters in the wild: ecological and molecular features. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 1; 43(4): 415-434.

Assistant Professor (MCF – HDR)

I obtained my PhD in 2009, in the field of Cellular Microbiology under the supervision of Pr Eric Oswald (University of Toulouse, France). Then, I moved to the laboratory of Pr Pascale Cossart (Pasteur Institute, Paris, France) for a post-doc. In 2013, I joined the laboratory “Ecologie et Biologie des Interactions” (EBI) to work on free-living amoebae.

Main responsibilities

  • 2016 Member of French Research Network “REID” (Symbiosis and Evolution)
  • 2016 Member of French Society of Microbiology (SFM)
  • 2015 Member of the scientific board of the laboratory EBI, Poitiers, France
  • 2014 Member of the organization board of scientific days (journées EBI), laboratory EBI
  • 2013 Member of Society for Biology of the Cell (SFBC)

Research interests :

Free-living amoebae (FLA) are pathogenic and opportunistic protozoa commonly found in water systems that feed on bacteria. Bacteria that resist amoebae digestion would be able to resist immune cells phagocytosis. FLA provide nutrients to bacteria and increase their resistance to antimicrobials facilitating dispersion of bacteria. They also protect bacteria from harsh conditions and they are considered as a melting pot that favors exchange of DNA between various intra-amoebal microorganisms and even viruses. Thus, FLA improve emergence and transmission of bacterial pathogens. Under stress conditions such as biocides treatment, FLA differentiate into resistant forms named cysts. This process is known as encystment or encystation. Contamination of water by FLA represents an underestimated public health concern for emerging diseases.

My interest lies on

(i) interactions between FLA and bacteria. I study how bacteria resist amoebal digestion and what host functions are disturbed by bacteria.

(ii) protozoa encystation. Our working model is Acanthamoeba castellanii.

(iii) collaborative studies which involve my background in cellular microbiology.

Keywords (5)

Acanthamoeba castellanii, bacterial infection, encystment, Legionella pneumophila, senescence.