1.1: Role of NK cells during bacterial infections

NK cells are important in the regulation of the immune response. They are at the crossroad between innate and adaptative immunity. NK cells are thought to play an active role in the establishment of the immuno-compromised state in patients with severe trauma.

Our aim is to investigate the role of NK cells during bacterial infections in immunocompromised  and immunocompetent patients by using clinical samples, cell cultures and in vivo experimental models.

Group leader: A. Roquilly / A. Broquet

1.2: Impact of the bacterial virulence factors on the host immune response

The role of virulence factors of bacteria causing severe hospital or communautary infections (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli) is  studied on cell cultures or in vivo experimental models.

Involvment of specific virulence factor is assessed using isogenic strains deleted in one specific virulence factor (for example Pseudomonas deleted in flagellin) or clinical strains isolated in Nantes hospital. The presence and expression of the virulence factors is determined in these isolates by phenotypic and genotypic methods.

This group focuses on the type III secretion system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and its impact on the immune response during pulmonary infections. Concerning other pathogens, such as S. aureus and E. coli, the role of toxins, like the pore-forming toxin hemolysin, is studied on different cellular models.

Group leader: N. Caroff / L. Crémet