Animals must battle constantly against harmful bacteria that enjoy living off their food, or inside them. An important line of defence for infected hosts is the immune system which fights pathogenic bacteria. A shrewder strategy for animals would be to avoid contact with dangerous microbes or to minimise the effect of pathogen on host fitness. Although the mechanisms by which bacteria are triggering immune responses are well known, their effects on eukaryotes physiology and behaviour are largely unstudied. Our laboratory is using the Drosophila system to study some important questions related to host pathogen interactions such as
- How are gut cells able to tolerate commensal bacteria while eliminating pathogenic ones?
- What are the influences of gut associated bacteria on brain activity?
- How do infectious bacteria modulate fly behavior?
- More information here