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Peter Mancuso

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Primary Appointment: Nutritional Sciences
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  Lung infections are a leading cause of death globally and a major cause of morbidity throughout the world regardless of socioeconomic status. Our goal is to identify factors that disable host defense and develop novel prophylactic strategies and therapeutic agents to combat this disease. Currently, we are examining the impact of obesity on hospital-acquired infections. Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common cause of hospital-acquired pneumonia with a complex treatment given the emergence of drug-resistant strains. The impact of obesity on hospital-acquired infections remains obscure. Our pilot studies revealed impaired pulmonary host defense against Klebsiella pneumonia which was associated with aberrant cytokine production and defective antibacterial responses in alveolar macrophages recovered from obese mice. In this project, we will examine the innate immune response against Klebsiella pneumonia using murine models and alveolar macrophages to determine if resolving metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity restores host defense against Klebsiella pneumonia.