Universiteit Leiden

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Animal Sciences

Host-Microbe Interactions in Animal Sciences

Animal Sciences’ contributions to the Host-Microbe Interactions research theme focus on the interaction of animal hosts with pathogenic microbes but also the beneficial role of the gut microbiome.

Mammalian macrophages and zebrafish larvae are used to study the intracellular stages of bacterial pathogens (Mycobacterium, Salmonella, Staphylococcus) and pathogenic fungi (Aspergillus) and the interactions of pathogens with host processes such as inflammatory signalling and autophagy. In collaboration with Microbial Sciences, we also study the interaction of cholera bacteria with the zebrafish gut epithelium. Zebrafish reared germ-free or colonized by defined bacterial populations are used to study how the microbiome shapes immune responses.

In addition, the microbiota and host-microbiome interactions are studied by computational modelling. Research in insects has identified the outer membrane (serosa) of beetle eggs as an immune organ and the signalling pathways involved are currently under study.


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