Establishing the zebrafish-cystic fibrosis model of mixed Staphylococcus aureus MRSA43300 - Candida albicans SC5314infection

Principal Investigator: Aleksandar Pavic, PhD

Mixed infections of the respiratory tract with Candida albicans and methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) present high-risk infections for the patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Since molecular mechanisms of the establishment of infection with these pathogens and the nature of their interactions with innate immune cells in the lungs of CF are poorly understood, while  the model of C. albicans-MRSA infection in animals with CF has not been described in the literature yet, the main objectives of this study are: 1) to establish of mixed C. albicans SC5314-MRSA infection in zebrafish embryos as an animal model of cystic fibrosis, and 2) to study of host-pathogen interactions aimed to determine the role of CFTR proteins for neutrophil and macrophage activity, which guide the host immune response against both pathogens. The establishment and use of this model will be highly beneficial in the identification of bioactive compounds effective in the fight against mixed microbial infections in CF patients.

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