Aida Sadikovic Sciences
Role of Neutrophils and Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Cell-mediated Immunity to Listeria monocytogenes
Aida’s Senior Honors Thesis in Molecular & Cell Biology will focus on investigating the mechanisms behind the murine immune response to Listeria monocytogenes. L. monocytogenes is a ubiquitous intracellular human and animal pathogen that can spread from cell to cell via actin-based motility. Previous studies have shown that VASP-binding deficient strains of L. monocytogenes exhibit slow motility and virulence attenuation compared to wild type strains, especially in the liver during secondary murine listeriosis. She hopes to gain a better understanding of the reasons behind this tissue difference and to determine why VASP-binding deficient strains of L. monocytogenes display more pronounced virulence attenuation during secondary versus primary murine listeriosis. The results of her research, which could have important implications for the development of therapeutics against intracellular pathogens, will be presented at the American Society for Microbiology national meeting in Spring 2002.