Using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology we are developing methods to examine host-bacterial interactions. Due to the fact that undifferentiated human induced pluripotent stem cells are amenable to genetic engineering, can be cultured indefinitely and can further be differentiated into multiple cell types, we are exploiting both organoid and macrophage systems to investigate the interactions between host cells and diarrhoeal pathogens, including enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae. Utilising both wild type and relevant knockout hiPSC lines we are probing both initial interactions and subsequent utilisation of pathways for the effects of toxins. The further analysis of genetically engineered bacteria extend the usefulness of this model system, and complement the availability of mutant host cells, towards the simultaneous genetic analysis of both pathogen and host.

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