Bacterial Molecular Genetics

  HEADProf. COLE Stewart /
  MEMBERSDr BRODIN Priscille / Dr BROSCH Roland / Dr BOTTAI Daria
Dr BOULKROUN Sheerazed / Dr DEMANGEL Caroline / Dr DUPUY Bruno
Dr GARNIER Thierry / Dr HONORE Nadine / Dr KANDASAMY Revathi
SAINT-JOANIS Brigitte / Dr Claudia SALA

  Annual Report

The Bacterial Molecular Genetics unit is world-renowned for its achievements in the fields of mycobacterial and clostridial research, in particular for its pioneering work on the molecular basis of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, and the genomics and evolutionary biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae. Our publications from this period are amongst the most highly cited in the field of microbiology. The unit consists of four groups working on three broad themes: the functional genomics of tuberculosis, drug discovery and vaccine development; the pathogenesis of Buruli ulcer and leprosy; and control of toxigenesis in Clostridium difficile. There is extensive interaction between the groups and much sharing of expertise and resources. We benefit greatly from intramural collaborations with structural biologists, biochemists and immunologists, as well as numerous national and international partnerships.

We are leading an integrated project on TB drug discovery as part of the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme as well as the in-house “Grand Horizontal Project” on tuberculosis (see the logo).

Among the hypothesis-driven research topics are structure-function studies of a novel protein secretion apparatus, ESX-1, and its contribution to the pathogenicity of M. tuberculosis, and the establishment of a detailed regulatory and transcriptional map of the tubercle bacillus.

Buruli ulcer research is focused on understanding the cytotoxic effects of the macrolide toxin, mycolactone, and its suppression of cellular immune responses through disruption of signal transduction pathways. The natural history and ecology of Buruli ulcer, including the role of insects as potential vectors, are being studied. Our leprosy research involves the development of tools for early diagnosis and epidemiology. Clostridium difficile is an emerging pathogen and a leading source of often-lethal nosocomial infections. Toxin production is at the heart of its pathogenicity and its regulation has been the subject of intense research. An ECF sigma factor has been identified as a pivotal regulator and its interplay with environmental sensors is being unravelled.



Publications 2006 of the unit on Pasteur's references database

Activity Reports 2006 - Institut Pasteur
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