PD Dr. Vera Kozjak-Pavlovic
Chair of Microbiology
Biocenter, University of Würzburg
Tel.: 0931 31 88061
Fax: 0931 31 84402
Infection Biology, Cellular Microbiology, Cell Biology
Infection with the obligate human pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae depends on pili for the initial adhesion, Opa proteins to mediate invasion and, for disseminated infection, on PorBIA porin. The group of Vera Kozjak-Pavlovic together with the Rudel group develops a 3D tissue model of cervical and eventually Fallopian tube tissue to study all the stages of neisserial infection, but with a particular focus on the crossing of the endothelial barrier and subsequent blood stream dissemination. For this, the available N. gonorrhoeae transposon library is used to identify factors involved in an increased or reduced adhesion, invasion or tissue damage in the above models. The targets obtained from the screens for the host cell factors important for neisserial invasion will be tested on the tissue model, as well. Finally, infection under dynamic conditions will be studied to emulate the natural environment (together with Alexandra Schubert-Unkmeir), including introducing the shear stress and varying temperature and oxygen.