Areas of Interest
I am primarily interested in the interactions and co-evolution of hosts and pathogens. My current project revolves around IgA and Citrobacter rodentium (C. rodentium), a murine model of attaching and effacing enteropathogens. Recent work has shown that mice with a deficiency of IgA in the gut resist infection by and transmission of C. rodentium. The resistance stems from the failure of the C. rodentium to properly express virulence programs encoded by the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island. This indicates that C. rodentium have evolved to somehow sense IgA and use it as a signal to express these virulence programs. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this interaction could potentially inform anti-microbial treatment against these enteropathogens by blocking their acquisition of virulence.