Event Detail

Event Type: 
Department Colloquium
Friday, October 20, 2006 - 08:00
Kidd 364

Speaker Info

Oakland U.

Vibrio cholerae is a strict human pathogen that causes pandemic cholera. It is an old-word pathogen that has re-emerged as a new threat since the early 1990s. V. cholerae colonizes the upper, small intestine where it produces a toxin that leads to the watery diarrhea, characterizing the disease. Colonization dynamics of the bacteria are largely unknown. Although a large initial infectious dose is required for infection, data suggests that only a smaller sub-population colonizes a portion of the small bowel leading to disease. There are many barriers to colonization in the intestines including peristalsis, fluid wash-out, viscosity of the mucus layer, and pH. It is of interest to identify the mechanisms that allow this sub-population of bacteria to survive and colonize the intestines when faced with these barriers. In this talk, I will elaborate on the dynamics of V. cholerae infection by describing a mathematical model that governs the colonization process for the bacterial dynamics. The results indicate that both host and bacterial factors contribute to colonization. Host factors include intestinal diffusion and convection rates while bacterial factors include adherence, motility and growth rates. This model can be used to test therapeutic strategies against V. cholera.