Does the microbiome mediate risk of viral infection? Work from the Foxman, Gordon & Rickard Laboratories

Seminar Details
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:00am


Betsy Foxman, Ph.D.
Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Endowed Professor of Epidemiology
Director, Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
School of Public Health - University of Michigan


5623 Med. Sci. II  (Wheeler Seminar Room)

Applications of high throughput ‘omics technologies to the microbes living in and on humans (the microbiota) are rapidly changing our perspectives of the importance of microbiota to human health.  If microbiota enhance or reduce the effects of viral infection on the host, we might manipulate the microbiota for our benefit.  Alternatively, or in addition, microbiota might respond to exposure-induced changes in host functions, and thus microbiota characteristics could be used as a diagnostic or prognostic tool.  I will provide examples of ongoing epidemiologic studies examining whether the composition and structure of commensal bacteria mediate risk of influenza infection among adults and children, and acquisition of herpes viruses in the the first 2 years of life. I close with examples from an in vitro  biofilm model that can be manipulated to test hypotheses. 

Sponsored by the Host Microbiome Initiative