Cholera: the fight against the emergence of new strains

DiscovHER Dr Caroline Midonet, 2015 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellow and Doctoral Researcher in the Institut de Biologie Intégrative de la Cellule (I2BC), at the Université Paris Sud.

Who will win the competition of the species: humans or bacteria? No sooner have we got an infectious disease under control and found a treatment, a new epidemic appears. What are the mechanisms used by pathogenic bacteria that allow them to constantly produce new strains? Some, like those responsible for cholera, use exotoxins encoded in the virus genome, which infect the bacteria. The virus uses a vehicle to send genetic information between bacteria. This transfer can lead to the emergence of new strains that are pathogenic to humans. “My research will allow us to better understand the rapid emergence of new pathogenic strains of Vibrio cholera”, explains Caroline Midonet, in the third year of her thesis, in the Institut de Biologie Intégrative de la Cellule (I2BC), at the Université Paris Sud. This provides essential knowledge to help find effective strategies to fight against these deadly diseases.


The goal of my research is to better understand the rapid emergence of new pathogenic strains of Vibrio Cholerae, the bacteria that courses cholera. And more particularly, my objective is to show what the role of TLC (Toxin Linked Cryptic phage) is in cholera toxin acquisition by this bacteria, which is normally not pathogenic. This would be a great discovery to make. 




@womeninscience

L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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