University of Texas Medical Branch, USA
Tel: +1 409 747 0189
Melioidosis, glanders, animal models, vaccine and therapeutic trials
The current main project of our lab is to develop vaccines for the prevention of bacterial infections and to understand molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of Gram-negative bacteria. Our laboratory has become a world leader in the study of pathogenic Burkholderia, mainly Burkholderia mallei and B. pseudomallei, causative agents of glanders and Melioidosis, respectively. We are focusing in the identification and characterization of candidate antigens for vaccine development. Our principal goal is to devise attenuated and subunit vaccines which can protect against both Burkholderia infections, using three approaches: attenuated vaccines, glycoconjugates and construction of gold-linked nanovaccines. We are also developing novel animal models to test different therapeutics or vaccines. We have established and characterized small animal aerosol infection models suitable for testing antibacterial agents against B. pseudomallei. We have also constructed candidate bioluminescent and fluorescent reporter strains of B. mallei and B. pseudomallei and used them to monitor progression of infection and determine effectiveness of different treatments. Finally, we are studying the effects of nutritional immunity and bacterial persistence on the pathogenesis of Burkholderia species.
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