Dr. Brown (USA winner 2021): Microbiota & respiratory syncitial virus infection
To celebrate #WorldMicrobiomeDay, the Biocodex Microbiota Institute is handing the floor to national grant winners.
About this article
Dr. Julia Brown
Dr. Brown is a virologist and immunologist who studies the impact of the gut-lung axis on viral infection outcomes. She is currently studying the altered microbiome in preterm infants and the role this plays in respiratory syncytial virus infection.
What has the national grant allowed to discover in your microbiota research area?
We have found that in mice whose intestines are colonized with bacteria from preterm infant stool, interferon and antibody responses to RSV infection are diminished, and neutrophil trafficking to the lung is enhanced, which could worsen tissue damage.
What are the consequences for the patient?
Our data suggest that the microbiome contributes to the heightened risks of severe RSV in preterm infants, by dysregulating the immune response. We are currently working to identify specific bacteria or metabolites that are responsible for these effects, which could potentially offer therapeutic strategies to improve immune function in preterm infants by manipulating the microbiome.