Know more

About cookies

What is a "cookie"?

A "cookie" is a piece of information, usually small and identified by a name, which may be sent to your browser by a website you are visiting. Your web browser will store it for a period of time, and send it back to the web server each time you log on again.

Different types of cookies are placed on the sites:

  • Cookies strictly necessary for the proper functioning of the site
  • Cookies deposited by third party sites to improve the interactivity of the site, to collect statistics

Learn more about cookies and how they work

The different types of cookies used on this site

Cookies strictly necessary for the site to function

These cookies allow the main services of the site to function optimally. You can technically block them using your browser settings but your experience on the site may be degraded.

Furthermore, you have the possibility of opposing the use of audience measurement tracers strictly necessary for the functioning and current administration of the website in the cookie management window accessible via the link located in the footer of the site.

Technical cookies

Name of the cookie


Shelf life

CAS and PHP session cookies

Login credentials, session security



Saving your cookie consent choices

12 months

Audience measurement cookies (AT Internet)

Name of the cookie


Shelf life


Trace the visitor's route in order to establish visit statistics.

13 months


Store the anonymous ID of the visitor who starts the first time he visits the site

13 months


Identify the numbers (unique identifiers of a site) seen by the visitor and store the visitor's identifiers.

13 months

About the AT Internet audience measurement tool :

AT Internet's audience measurement tool Analytics is deployed on this site in order to obtain information on visitors' navigation and to improve its use.

The French data protection authority (CNIL) has granted an exemption to AT Internet's Web Analytics cookie. This tool is thus exempt from the collection of the Internet user's consent with regard to the deposit of analytics cookies. However, you can refuse the deposit of these cookies via the cookie management panel.

Good to know:

  • The data collected are not cross-checked with other processing operations
  • The deposited cookie is only used to produce anonymous statistics
  • The cookie does not allow the user's navigation on other sites to be tracked.

Third party cookies to improve the interactivity of the site

This site relies on certain services provided by third parties which allow :

  • to offer interactive content;
  • improve usability and facilitate the sharing of content on social networks;
  • view videos and animated presentations directly on our website;
  • protect form entries from robots;
  • monitor the performance of the site.

These third parties will collect and use your browsing data for their own purposes.

How to accept or reject cookies

When you start browsing an eZpublish site, the appearance of the "cookies" banner allows you to accept or refuse all the cookies we use. This banner will be displayed as long as you have not made a choice, even if you are browsing on another page of the site.

You can change your choices at any time by clicking on the "Cookie Management" link.

You can manage these cookies in your browser. Here are the procedures to follow: Firefox; Chrome; Explorer; Safari; Opera

For more information about the cookies we use, you can contact INRAE's Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at :


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

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal


Unité de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires


Coronaviruses are viruses generally responsible for infections of the epithelia of the digestive and respiratory systems in humans, but also in animals (mammals and birds). The appearance of their viral particles with a crown of 20 nm high projections anchored in the viral membrane is characteristic of this family.

These projections called spikes are exclusively composed of protein S assembled into a homotrimer. The essential function of S is to recognize and bind to a specific receptor on the cell surface, this interaction being the first step in the entry of the virus into the target cell.

Our work mainly focuses on SARS-CoV-2 and to a lesser extent on coronaviruses of veterinary interest.


Our scientific objectives are:

We were able to show on the hamster model that infection with SARS-CoV-2 lead to massive desquamation of the olfactory epithelium ensuring the first step in the detection of odors in the nasal cavity, which explains the symptom of anosmia often seen in patients with COVID-19. We seek to understand the cellular origins of this phenomenon in order to develop therapeutic approaches but also to extend our results more generally to the relationships between respiratory viruses and the nasal cavity.

We have selected artificial proteins that bind with high affinity to the SARS-CoV-2 spike. Some of them are able to neutralize the virus in cell culture and are shown to have therapeutic properties of interest. This project is extended by the development of original strategies to increase the bioavailability of these antivirals in the nasal cavity. We anticipate that they will thus be able to effectively block horizontal transmission of the virus.

Not all cell receptors for animal coronaviruses are identified. More particularly, the nature of the receptor for the avian infectious bronchitis virus as well as for the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus, two coronaviruses having a strong economic impact in the avian and pork production sectors, have not been identified. We are developing experimental strategies to characterize them.

Position in the lab

We are currently looking for a motivated student for a PhD to work on the field of antiviral treatments of the nasal cavity to limit aerial...
Read more