Gold Bioscience Room A145C
The research of Dr. Detweiler focuses on the discovery of chemicals that interfere with bacterial infection. We identified a new niche for the bacterial pathogen, Salmonella, during persistent infection. Salmonella resides both within and outside of cells to cause disease. With confocal microscopy, we showed that the bacteria lives in macrophages that have engulfed erythrocytes or leukocytes, called "hemophagocytic" macrophages (HMs). We developed a cell culture model of HMs and with it established that HMs are able to kill E. coli but not Salmonella, that Salmonella acquires the essential nutrient iron from HMs, and that Salmonella stimulates macrophages to engulf erythrocytes to become HMs. In addition, Salmonella-infected mice, like humans with typhoid fever, accumulate HMs. We also recently embarked on a complementary project to identify new antibacterial therapeutics.