Moura Alves Group: for non-scientists
Host-pathogen interactions are like an “arms race”, in which the outcome of the encounter is determined by the dynamic interplay between the body’s (the host) responses, which aim to eliminate the pathogen, and the countermeasures that pathogens employ to avoid eradication. Thus, to understand host-pathogen interactions, both sides of this “war” should be studied simultaneously.
In the laboratory we study both the bacterial and the host adaptation strategies engaged during the course of infection, focusing on:
1) How the host spies on bacterial communication systems and what are the sensors and mechanisms involved, with a major focus is on an important host receptor recently discovered to be able to sense bacterial infection, the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR).
2) How the bacteria reacts and adapts to host derived responses.