How to bust up a bacterial biofilm
Lauren O. Bakaletz, Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics and Otolaryngology
Vice President for Basic Sciences
Director, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
The Bakaletz laboratory’s research focus is attempting to understand the pathogenic mechanisms operational in the highly prevalent pediatric disease, otitis media (OM) (or middle ear infection). Specifically, we are interested in elucidating how upper respiratory tract viruses predispose the middle ear to invasion by any of the three predominant bacterial pathogens of OM (nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis and Streptococcus pneumoniae). We are also interested in understanding how bacterial biofilms contribute to the recurrence and chronicity of OM, chronic rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough and exacerbations of both COPD and CF. With this enhanced understanding, we then attempt to identify potential molecular targets for the design, development and pre-clinical testing of novel vaccine candidates or therapeutics using an animal model of viral-bacterial superinfection that closely mimics the polymicrobial nature of OM in children. Our long-term goal is to develop novel methods to more effectively treat or preferably, to prevent, otitis media and other respiratory tract infections where there is a biofilm component to the disease course.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, August 11, 2021