This EI project aims to identify and understand the dynamic relationship between a gut pathogen, Salmonella, and our defence mechanism of autophagy.
Scientific name: Salmonella enterica
With this project, the main aim is to identify and understand the dynamic relationship between a gut pathogen, Salmonella, and our defence mechanism of autophagy - the mechanism through which an organism destroys infected or defect cells.
We combine computational and experimental approaches to understand how Salmonella is controlling autophagy in gut cells. Salmonella strains are studied through analysis of ‘specialist’ and ‘generalist’ Salmonella strain interactions to find and show why and how some of the strains specialise on their host species (Salmonella can infect a wide range of animals, including chicken and cows).
What Earlham Institute is doing.
Using computer models, we predict protein-protein interactions between Salmonella and its host, allowing us to measure the expression of certain autophagy genes upon infection.
Through this process, we expect to extend current knowledge on Salmonella infection and how can it cause mild food poisoning and life-threatening gastrointestinal diseases in humans and animal livestock, as well as the role of intestinal cells during infection and in maintenance of gut homeostasis.
If successful, we estimate EI’s contribution globally could be £1.1bn over the next 25 years.