Research / Scientific departments / Microbiology / Units and groups / Pathogenesis of Mucosal Bacteria

Pathogenesis of Mucosal Bacteria Unit

  • Unit closed on December 31, 2008

Agnès Labigne
The research work undertaken within the Unit is focused on the study of mucosa-associated bacterial pathogens.  These include: Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium associated with the formation of inflammatory gastroduodenal diseases (chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, lymphoma and gastric cancer) in humans; and pathogenic Escherichia coli strains that are associated with diarrhea and extra-intestinal infections (UTI, septicemia, meningitis).


Helicobacter bacteria

The prevalence of H. pylori infections is very high, with 30% of individuals in developed countries, and as many as 80 to 95% of those in developing countries, infected with the bacterium. H. pylori is responsible for the most common bacterial infection worldwide, and diseases associated with these infections have an important medical and economic impact. Indeed, it is estimated that 10% and 1% of infected individuals develop peptic ulcer disease and gastric neoplesia (adenocarcinoma and MALT lymphoma), respectively. Different projects are currently pursued aimed at better understanding the adaptation of this bacterium to its unique gastric niche, its biodiversity, the bacterium-host cell interactions, the genotoxic effects of inflammation, the search for prophylactic and therapeutic targets.

Pathogenic Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli is one of the most intensively studied of all microorganisms. Although most strains of this species exist as harmless symbionts in the intestine, they are many pathogenic E. coli strains that cause a variety of diseases in animals and humans. Our studies have been focused on the characterization of mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria colonize epithelial cells, the identification of bacterial factors involved in host infectivity, epidemiological studies, and comparative and functional genomics.