Biology

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Tomorrow - Mon, Feb 8, 2016

Nose Picking for Progress: Mining the Nasal Microbiome for New Insights into Pathogens

Katherine P. Lemon, MD, PhD
Associate Member of Staff, Department of Microbiology, The Forsyth Institute

Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Nose Picking for Progress: Mining the Nasal Microbiome for New Insights into Pathogens

Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae are medically important bacterial pathogens. Both are also common constituents of the healthy nasal microbiome, and, in the case of S. aureus, the skin microbiome. The emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant clones of both of these species accentuates the need for new approaches to prevent infections by either. A number of commensal/mutualistic bacteria colonize the same body sites as S. aureus and S. pneumoniae. It is commonly accepted that bacteria occupying the same habitat may profoundly influence each other’s physiology. Yet, remarkably little is known about interactions that can occur between benign commensal bacteria and either S. aureus or S. pneumoniae. Our focus is to identify and characterize such interactions at a molecular level to better understand potential drivers of nasal and skin microbiome composition, and of pathogen colonization. We hypothesize that among the commensal members of the human nasal and skin microbiomes, there are beneficial bacteria that can interfere with pathogen colonization and/or shift pathogen behavior towards benign commensalism. Such beneficial bacteria, and the molecules they produce, could be the basis for novel small molecule and probiotic therapies to both prevent and treat infections.

Website: http://forsyth.org/lab/lemon

Katherine P. Lemon, MD, PhD

Associate Member of Staff, Department of Microbiology, The Forsyth Institute

Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

 

Title: Nose Picking for Progress: Mining the Nasal Microbiome for New Insights into Pathogens

Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae are medically important bacterial pathogens. Both are also common constituents of the healthy nasal microbiome, and, in the case of S. aureus, the skin microbiome. The emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant clones of both of these species accentuates the need for new approaches to prevent infections by either. A number of commensal/mutualistic bacteria colonize the same body sites as S. aureus and S. pneumoniae. It is commonly accepted that bacteria occupying the same habitat may profoundly influence each other’s physiology. Yet, remarkably little is known about interactions that can occur between benign commensal bacteria and either S. aureus or S. pneumoniae. Our focus is to identify and characterize such interactions at a molecular level to better understand potential drivers of nasal and skin microbiome composition, and of pathogen colonization. We hypothesize that among the commensal members of the human nasal and skin microbiomes, there are beneficial bacteria that can interfere with pathogen colonization and/or shift pathogen behavior towards benign commensalism. Such beneficial bacteria, and the molecules they produce, could be the basis for novel small molecule and probiotic therapies to both prevent and treat infections.

Website: http://forsyth.org/lab/lemon

 

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