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10 Jul 2019 - A tug of war: how Salmonella tackles cellular defense mechanisms

Bacterial pathogens present a major public health concern, especially given the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. As such, understanding the molecular details governing bacterial infection is of prime importance. A group of researchers from the Dikic group at IBCII and the group of Danielle Malo at McGill University (Canada) recently joined forces and today, published a first collaborative article in Nature Microbiology.

Their study focuses on non-typhoidal Salmonella infections caused by Salmonella Typhimurium, a food-borne bacterial pathogen that infects the intestinal tract.

It was mainly motivated by the clinical implications of these infections, with non-typhoidal Salmonella accounting for approximately 93.8 million illnesses and 155,000 deaths worldwide per year. Through adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, the researchers were able to uncover an important host protein, which they named CYRI that is implicated in combating Salmonella infections. They revealed how Salmonella fights back by reducing the levels of this protein upon infection. Interestingly, they also outlined a protective role for CYRI in infections mediated by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Listeria monocytogenes. This demonstrates that CYRI drives important signalling events that are relevant in the context of infections by different intracellular bacterial pathogens.