Jorge Nuno Pinheiro
Research Title: ENLIST – Ethanolamine in gut Listeria monocytogenes infection and inflammation
Project Summary: Gut pathogens must adapt to the gastrointestinal environment and compete with the microbiota in order to cause infection. However relatively little is known about how the important foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes adapts to the gut environment prior to causing invasive disease. This project aims to determine how L. monocytogenes utilizes ethanolamine during gut infection in the context of a westernized, pro-inflammatory diet. We propose to investigate the hypothesis that L. monocytogenes can exploit the high levels of ethanolamine produced locally in the inflamed gut in order to increase virulence and promote systemic infection.