Opportunistic infections at the host-pathogen interface
Opportunistic pathogens can subvert infection barriers (e.g., host immune functions and nutrient limitations) and switch from peaceful commensal to potentially lethal pathogen. The factors promoting either outcome are unknown, but must be shaped by dynamic physiological interactions between host and pathogen. This project aims to determine key factors at the host-pathogen interface that mediate the switch between controlled and acute infection in the Drosophila systemic infection model and the opportunistic human pathogen Serratia marcescens. Since we approach this problem at multiple scales, we are looking for potential candidates with a diverse set of backgrounds. Experience in fly immunology, physiology, fly and bacterial cell biology or genetics, as well as bacterial pathogenesis is beneficial, but there is also room for quantitative approaches (mathematical modeling). This project is a collaboration of the Lazzaro, Buchon, Doerr, and Ellner labs.