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Pathogen study explores blocking effect of E. coli O157:H7 protein
Date:12/13/2013

ine comparative number of gene expression," said Mike Hays, microbiologist III in Hardwidge's lab. "It looks at a snapshot in time in that cellular environment and it could tell us at that snapshot in time, in that window, what the expression levels are of the genes that we're interested in."

Understanding how these bacterial proteins function in the host-pathogen interaction may also have applications for other human diseases.

"For example, many autoimmune diseases, many cancers and even diabetes are caused in part by an overactive component of this innate immune system," Hardwidge said. "Using information from bacteria and viruses that have evolved to block this overactive immune response, we may be able to engineer some of these bacteria proteins as potential therapeutics."

Through collaborations at Kansas State University and his position as a Chinese Academy of Sciences' senior international scientist, Hardwidge's future research will also explore both the role that the microbes that naturally live in the human body have in host-pathogen interactions and other forms of E. coli that afflict humans. Armed with this knowledge, researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine will be able to reveal new strategies for defeating pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7.


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Contact: Philip Hardwidge
hardwidg@vet.k-state.edu
785-532-2506
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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