Intracellular bacterial pathogens and cell intrinsic immunity

Research area

 |  microbiology, legionella


 |  microbiology, legionella, burkholderia, innate immunity, cell biology


 |  PhD/Doctorate, Honours, Masters

Project description

Many bacterial pathogens have acquired the capacity to replicate inside human cells by avoiding cell intrinsic innate immune pathways. Pathogens such as Legionella and Burkholderia are environmental organisms that cause the life-threatening opportunistic infections known as Legionnaire’s Disease and melioidosis respectively. A feature of both pathogens is the translocation of virulence proteins, called “effector proteins”, into the infected cell by specialised bacterial protein secretion systems. The effector proteins allow the bacteria to replicate within human cells by subverting host cell biology and cell intrinsic immunity. Our goal is to identify and characterize effectors that interact with cell intrinsic innate immune pathways. Ultimately this will allow us to understand the molecular mechanisms by which intracellular bacteria cause disease.