Most bacterial pathogenesis studies have focused on mono-culture infections;however, it is clear that many bacterial infections are not simply the result of colonization with a single species, but rather ensue from the action of polymicrobial communities. Microbes within polymicrobial infections often display synergistic interactions that result in enhanced colonization, persistence and antibiotic resistance in the infection site. Such interactions have been particularly noted in polymicrobial soft tissue infections, such as those in burns and chronic wounds, although the molecular processes controlling these synergistic interactions are generally not known. Studies elucidating the genetic pathways involved in polymicrobial interactions that contribute to enhanced persistence in vivo is critical for a comprehensive understanding of synergy, and a necessary first step towards developing therapeutics to treat multi-species infections. The overall goal of this research plan is to examine, from a genomic standpoint, how interactions between opportunistic pathogens impact in vivo persistence in acute and chronic wound infections. To accomplish this goal, high-throughput genomics techniques will be employed to identify microbial genes that are required for and expressed during polymicrobial synergy.

Public Health Relevance

Bacterial infections of burns and chronic wounds (such as diabetic ulcers or bedsores) are a significant and costly problem in the US healthcare system and across the world. When these infections contain more than one bacterium, they typically heal much more slowly and exhibit much higher antibiotic resistance. This proposal will study interactions between two pathogens in these infections using state-of-the-art high- throughput sequencing technology, and may lead to simple yet effective treatments to disrupt these interactions.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
1R21AI107570-01A1
Application #
8700960
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IDM-B (80))
Program Officer
Perdue, Samuel S
Project Start
2014-02-15
Project End
2016-01-31
Budget Start
2014-02-15
Budget End
2015-01-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$241,644
Indirect Cost
$60,797
Name
University of Texas Austin
Department
Biology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
170230239
City
Austin
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
78712
Turner, Keith H; Everett, Jake; Trivedi, Urvish et al. (2014) Requirements for Pseudomonas aeruginosa acute burn and chronic surgical wound infection. PLoS Genet 10:e1004518