The Zika ThreatASM Acts to Counter Zika Virus Outbreak.
Andrew Camilli investigates the mechanisms of pathogenesis and transmission of mucosal pathogens. The main goal of his laboratory is to increase understanding of the virulence properties of mucosal pathogens using Vibrio cholerae and Streptococcus pneumoniae as model organisms, and secondly to develop new types of vaccines for these two pathogens. V. cholerae is a motile bacterium that maintains a substantial environmental reservoir, and causes endemic and epidemic cholera in many underdeveloped nations. In contrast, the bacterium S. pneumoniae is a strict human commensal and pathogen and is a major cause of pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and otitis media throughout the world. His primary research focus is identifying V. cholerae and S. pneumoniae genes and their protein products that are expressed during the infection process and during transmission, and then elucidating their regulation and function. He has chosen this focus because bacteria generally express genes only when and where needed and thus do not readily reveal their pathogenic armament outside of infected tissues, and secondly because detailed knowledge of the behavior of pathogens and the antigens they express during infection can aid the development of more effective vaccines, antimicrobials and diagnostics.