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Victor Dirita

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Primary Appointment: Microbiology and Immunology
Primary PIBS Dept.: Microbiology and Immunology



 DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH
  We are interested in understanding mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens regulate their virulence traits and interact with their hosts. We study Vibrio cholerae, agent of human cholera, and Campylobacter jejuni, which causes an inflammatory diarrhea in humans but is a natural member of the gastrointestinal tract of many animals, including poultry. For V. cholerae, our interests lie in mechanisms of gene regulation in particular, with an emphasis on a complex regulatory cascade that leads to production of two major virulence factors, the cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus. For C. jejuni, we are using genetic methods developed in our lab to investigate how it colonizes different hosts leading to dramatically different outcomes in mammalian hosts (disease) and natural hosts (benign, long-term colonization).