Microbial Pathogenesis

Microbial Pathogenesis is the study of the molecular mechanisms used by microbes to cause disease in humans and animals. Bacterial, protozoan, fungal and viral pathogens have evolved a wide variety of tools to establish themselves in the host and gain nutrients, which also cause damage and disease. Other mechanisms of pathogenesis include host defence evasion. To understand the complex processes used by microbial pathogens, microbiologists employ all the tools of modern molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and biophysics. Understanding how microbes cause disease is often the first step toward the development of new therapeutic approaches.

Microorganisms and viruses can also interact with host cells to induce alterations in cellular phenotype and function in order to subvert host cell metabolism to meet their own needs. Some microbes and viruses exert effects on the host immune response in order to evade host immune control. Understanding the interplay between infectious pathogens and their host cells is important in order to identify potential new targets for drug therapy.

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