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Main research subjects

Published on 30 January 2020

© V. Job

“Superbugs” cause 700,000 deaths worldwide each year, and this number is predicted to increase to 10 million by 2050. The nosocomial opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is now one of the highest priorities of the World Health Organization in regards to the identification of new targets and the development of novel inhibitors. P. aeruginosa is a ubiquitous bacterium capable of causing both chronic and acute infections. The repertoire of its virulence factors is impressive and extends from surface attached appendixes (flagella, pili, fimbriae…), to secondary metabolites and secreted enzymes and toxins.
Some toxins travel through a complex secretion machineries (i.e. type III and type VI secretion systems, T3SS and T6SS) and translocate directly into the cell host cytoplasm. Some others are secreted by T2SS or T5SS (Figure). Toxic secreted products provide to the bacterium multiple advantages in different environments, notably within the human host. P. aeruginosa, in addition of being a worrisome pathogen, is a model for gram-negative bacteria concerning the studies of
i) virulence mechanisms,
ii) assembly of secretion nano-machineries,
iii) complexity of regulatory networks,
iv) resistance to antibiotics and
v) bacterial adaptation.