Universiteit Leiden

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Institute of Biology Leiden

Host-Microbe Interactions

Host-Microbe Interactions is one of the four research themes of the Institute of Biology Leiden.

Microbes influence and respond to other organisms such as fungi, plants and animals. The Host-Microbe Interactions research theme examines interactions in plant and animal microbiomes, and in immune defences of hosts against microbes. We make use of model systems such as zebrafish, insects and plants, and the engineering of microbes and microbiomes in order to contribute to sustainable host protection.


  • We use unique model systems with hosts with editable trait sets, such as zebrafish and insects and plants
  • We study individual host-microbe interactions in the context of entire microbiomes
  • We disentangle molecular pathways involved in host-microbe interactions
  • We steer host-microbe interactions to improve human, animal and agricultural crop health
  • We combine chemical, molecular, genetic ecological interactions


The IBL is organised in three multidisciplinary clusters: Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences and Microbial Sciences. Each cluster brings its qualities to the research theme Host-Microbe Interactions to improve research and to strengthen the collaborations within and outside the institute. See for more information on the clusters' contribution to Host-Microbe Interactions:


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