Miguel Villoria Recio
Research Title: The effect of gut microbiota on the pathogenesis of Listeria monocytogenes.
Objective: The objective of this project is to determine how microbiota-derived metabolites may improve gut barrier function and influence resistance against infection of the Gram-positive foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.
Project summary: My research focuses on further elucidating the mechanisms related to gut-barrier function which underpin colonization resistance against the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes by using a systems-biology approach. A more complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the host-microbiota dialogue will be key to inform future strategies in manipulating microbiota as a barrier to infection to potentially reduce the use of antibiotics in the control of foodborne infectious diseases. We have previously identified key microbial taxa which are predicted to play a role in resistance to L. monocytogenes infection. However, the molecular mediators of colonization resistance against the pathogen remain to be fully established. This project will study the interplay between diet and gut microbiota in the context of L. monocytogenes infection through analysis of specific commensal taxa and metabolites as potential molecular mediators of host colonization resistance.