Septic shock or meningococcal meningitis: without rapid treatment, the mortality rate remains very high. Each year, 500 to 600 invasive meningococcal infections are recorded in France, 8-10% of which are fatal and 20% of patients who survive meningococcal meningitis suffer long-term neurological effects. To propose new weapons in the battle against these infections, Daria Bonazzi is studying the reorganisation of the surface of the host cell armature during the adhesion of the bacteria to the blood vessel walls. “This modification allows them to resist blood flow, to multiply on the surface of the cell and to colonise the vessels. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is not known”, says Daria Bonazzi. During her post-doctorate research in the Inserm Laboratory for Vascular Infections Pathogenesis, at Institut Pasteur, the Italian researcher will develop a method that combines the control of the cellular morphology and the analysis of the quantitative image in the context of interactions between a pathogen and its host cell. The results obtained by this multi-disciplinary approach combining biology and biophysics, will contribute, she hopes, to the development of new treatments.
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