The Centre of Microbial Host Interactions at ITT-Dublin investigates the interactions of bacterial pathogens with host cells, in an effort to develop novel therapeutics to eliminate these infections in vulnerable hosts. Our group focuses on pathogens which cause chronic respiratory infections and have a particular interest in infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. CF is a genetic recessive disorder resulting in poor clearance of bacteria from the airways. Chronic opportunistic infections in these patients contribute to lung function decline. The infections are caused by a range of bacterial pathogens each with their own virulence features and all highly resistant to antimicrobial therapy. We have focused primarily on a particularly pathogenic group of bacteria in CF called the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) and study Pseudomonas aeruginosa and an emerging species in CF, Pandoraea to investigate: Attachment of bacteria to lung cells and colonisation Identification of bacterial proteins involved in attachment to lung cells. Host cell invasion mechanisms Potential vaccine candidates Biofilm formation Immune responses Polymicrobial infection

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