Tropical Regions

South-East Asia

Habitats we study

Human and animal life interactions in diverse locations


Mondulkiri Forest


Stung Treng Forest

Intensive Agriculture

Battambang province


Phnom Penh

Key Pathogens 
we explore

  • Paramyxovirus
  • Other Coronaviruses
  • Trematodes

Key Hosts and Vectors we work on

For effective and trustworthy results we will be taking environmental and biological samples


  • Water
  • Soil
  • Sediments


  • Rodents
  • Fish
  • Others


  • Insectivores

Domestic animals

  • Dogs
  • Cats


  • Adults (20-50 years old) Woman 46%

Our work in Cambodia


Field and laboratory work in Cambodia is coordinated by IPC in relation with the global sampling strategy

Microbiome Analysis

The multiple human, wildlife and domestic animals samples we collect will be used to asses how biodiversity impacts microbiome structure and zoonotics risks.

SIR model

Data collected on coronavirus in insectivorous bats helps develop compartmental epidemiological SIR models.

ABM Model

Three ABMs will be co-constructed with local communities, enriched by experts, and involve a computational representation of critical species and humans.. In Cambodia, the Mekong Region Simulator (MerSIM) model will adapted to simulate the region's ecosystem and feed information directly into the ABM.

Landscape Model

Focusing on external drivers and transmission dynamics to simulate both human pathogen transmission and the movements of intermediary host species (e.g. civets).

Cambodian Workshops and News

BCOMING - Bats ectoparasites study

The BCOMING project aims to conduct a thorough evaluation of biodiversity across various anthropogenic gradients and scales. In Cambodia, the scientific team is focusing on the bat interface as a key component, not only to assess zoonotic risk but also to understand broader ecological dynamics. Among the features being evaluated are the communities of bats' ectoparasites, which play important roles in bats’ ecosystem health and disease transmission dynamics between them. Bats harbor a diverse array of ectoparasites, including fleas, flies, ticks, and mites for examples, and are an integral part to the intricate relationships between them, their hosts, and the environment. Despite being often overlooked, these ectoparasites appear to be essential ecological components and can serve as indicators of ecosystem health. While poorly understood, these ectoparasites, through occasional changes of host, could facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases within bat colonies. Two families, Streblidae and Nycteribiidae, stand out for their unique adaptations and behaviors within the bat ecosystem.

Read more

Unraveling Cambodia's biodiversity tapestry

In the heart of Southeast Asia lies Cambodia, a country teeming with biodiversity that has long captivated the imaginations of scientists and conservationists alike. Nestled within this rich tapestry of ecosystems, a dedicated research team from Université de Liège embarks on an exciting journey to unravel the mysteries of Cambodia's wildlife microbiome at the human-animal interface. Our team at Université de Liège in Belgium, consisting of Dr Pauline van Leeuwen and Prof. Johan Michaux, is leading the microbiome component of the BCOMING project. We aim to improve our knowledge of the influence of biodiversity and on microbiomes structure and zoonotic risks.
Read more

Journey to Cambodia (3/3)

On the 13th of December (2023), MERFI organised a workshop where Alex Smajgl presented the draft ABM model and its interface. The presentation was followed by a discussion.

Read more


Pablo Sinovas
Veasna IPC Duong