Identification and functional characterization of actin-related proteins associated with Salmonella containing vacuoles

Salmonella bacteria cause a number of serious illnesses, including typhoid fever, which kills over 600,000 people worldwide every year, and gastroenteritis. When Salmonella bacteria infect human cells, they use the cell’s proteins for their own survival. To accomplish this, the bacteria form a protected area within the host cell that allows them to survive and multiply. A major protein surrounding that protected area is called actin. Dr. Julian Guttman is investigating what other proteins interact with actin and how they affect Salmonella bacteria’s ability to cause disease. The research could provide the foundation for creating Salmonella vaccines or other drugs to eliminate Salmonella-based illnesses.