The aim of the course is to illustrate how bacteria sense and respond to different environmental stimuli. General strategies adopted by bacteria for sensing, transducing and giving the proper response to external signals will be presented through the discussion of specific examples, such as the global reprogramming of gene expression caused by different stresses (i.e. DNA damage, aminoacid starvation, heat shock). Moreover, cell to cell communication in microbial community and interactions between bacteria and eukaryotic cells or organisms (such as pathogenic bacteria-human host interactions) will be discussed. Particular emphasis will be put throughout the course on molecular mechanisms underlying cell responses and on the experimental approaches that have been applied to their study.
Immune system: innate immunity and adaptive immunity Innate Immune system: components of the innate immunity, roles and functions. - Physical epithelial barriers, - Phagocytes (Neutrophils and Macrophages) - Antigen Presenting Cells (Dendritic Cells) - Pathogen-associated Molecular Pattern (PAMPs)
- Pattern Recognition Receptors (TLRs e NLRs) - The complement system - Secretion of Cytokines and Chemokines by Innate Immune Cells
Adaptive immunity: components of the adaptive immunity, roles and functions. - mucose-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) - Cell-mediated Immunity: T helper lymphocytes (Th) and (CTL) - Humoral Immunity: B lymphocytes - Antibodies: Characteristics and Functions - Secretion of Cytokines and Chemokines by Adaptive Immune Cells
Innate and adaptive immune evasion strategies: virulence mechanisms and factors, virulence and immune evasion strategies (hiding from the immune system, interfering with the function of the immune system, destroying elements of the immune system; e.g. the structures which present microbial antigens to immune effectors to initiate a response in the host). Virulence generally involves the employment of various mechanisms to destroy, or cause the malfunction of host cells. Many pathogens also deploy diverse immune evasion tactics in the host to achieve host cell invasion and colonisation and may successfully exploit host cells to access target tissues.
HUMAN MICROBIOTA: commensal, mutualistic and symbiotic relationship. - Skin Flora - Respiratory flora (lung microbiome) - Gut Flora (protobiont- probiotics and prebiotics)
-Dysbiosisà inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD): dysbiosis is a cause or consequence of these disorders?
Host-pathogen interaction: EXPERIMENTAL MODELS - microbes and models of infection (in-vitro and in-vivo) - Animal models for host-pathogen interactions (acute and chronic infection) - Knock-out mice, cytokine-deficient mice, etc