Molecular mechanisms involved in bacterial persistence in host tissue.
Maria Fällman and her research group study mechanisms in bacterial gastrointestinal infections, both from the view of bacteria and host. They have made groundbreaking discoveries concerning molecular mechanisms behind Yersinia resistance to phagocytosis where they identified and characterized the host cell target proteins for the virulence effector YopH.
The lab was behind the finding that sub-lethal doses of Yersinia result in persistent infection in mice. Current work related to this involve studies of bacterial adaption and role of immune defence mechanisms using transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. Other projects involve metabolomics as potential practical applications in diagnosis and antibiotic resistance determinations.
The group is involved in studies of effector translocation by the Type Three Secretion System (T3SS) where they together with the Wolf-Watz lab demonstrated the alternative mechanism för T3SS delivery from the bacterial surface. The Fällman group focuses on the instant action of the virulence effectors on immune cells and they recently showed the mechansm by which the effector YopK directs T3SS delivery, required for a productive infection. They have also shown that macrophages and dendritic cells are differently affected by antiphagocytic virulence effectors and that it relay on the host cell recognition mechanism.