Host Pathogen Interactions

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Our host-pathogen interaction research focuses on the pathophysiology and immune responses of scrub typhus and murine typhus. Ongoing investigations include studying time course bacterial dissemination dynamics, coagulation and inflammation, cellular tropism, apoptosis and blood-brain-barrier dysfunction.

The development of an intradermal inoculation animal model (Rhesus macaque) is a central pillar to this theme, as it enables and supports a large number of other studies. This work is a joint collaboration with the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), based within walking distance of MORU. This project has enabled the set up of a well-equipped immuno-pathophysiology laboratory, which can perform sophisticated immunological assays under BSL3 setting.

The MORU immunology group has pioneered the set up of immunology assays and has recently acquired a flowcytometer. We are now dissecting and characterizing both innate and adaptive responses of the natural immune response of scrub typhus, and soon also murine typhus.

This new and growing research theme has opened the field for in-depth investigations building towards diagnostics and vaccine design, development and evaluation.