The alarming increase in multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens challenge efficient treatment of common infections. A fundamental understanding of the molecular interactions driving bacterial adhesion to host, and bacterial escape from host immunity, is a key step toward the development of novel antimicrobial therapies.
1. S. aureus virulence factors and their role in adhesion and immune evasion.
We use various approaches to evaluate the adhesive properties of bacterial virulence factors, and have previously shown that S. aureus SdrD specifically with Desmoglein 1, a intercellular junction-protein, expressed by keratinocytes. We have also shown that SdrD have immune evasive properties, and increases bacterial survival in presence of host immunity in vitro and in vivo. By use of similar approach, we are evaluating other virulence factors in their adhesive and immune evasive properties.
2. Bacterial membrane vesicles and its functional roles.
We have previously found that staphylococci and Enterococcus faecium releases bacterial membrane vesicles, and found that the membrane vesicles from S. aureus influence the bacterial virulence both in vitro and in vivo. We are continuing evaluating the cargo of membrane vesicles, and their role in virulence.