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111 | 2012
Annuaire du Collège de France 2010-2011
Résumé des cours et travaux 111e année
Conférenciers invités


Brett Finlay
p. 880-881

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Lecture 1: Battling the Bugs: Confronting the Microbial Menace

1Microbial diseases continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and drug resistance is increasing in many pathogens. By understanding basic pathogenic mechanisms, this information can be exploited to develop novel therapeutics and preventatives. Work in our lab has been focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella. These pathogens have sophisticated mechanisms to drive bacterial molecules into host cells to reprogram infected cells and neutralize host defenses. A general overview of the mechanisms used by these pathogens will be presented, as will approaches that have been developed to counter them. As well, approaches to develop a SARS vaccine will be discussed in the context of emerging infectious diseases, including H1N1 influenza.

Lecture 2: The Interdisciplinarity of Enteric Infectious Diseases

2Microbial diseases continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and drug resistance is increasing in many pathogens. However, to study their mechanisms of disease, one has to approach the problem from many different aspects. Traditional microbiologists have studied the microbial pathogen, focusing especially on factors that cause disease (virulence factors). Immunologists and cell biologists have studied the host cellular response to these pathogens, and most recently it has been recognized that the third major player in these interactions are the microbiota. Hence studies on host – pathogen interactions require many different techniques and knowledge from different disciplines of studies. Examples will be drawn from enteric pathogens to illustrate the many varied approaches and techniques used to study these bacterial diseases, and more importantly, use this knowledge to prevent or treat them.

Lecture 3: The role of the microbiota in infectious enteric diseases

3Traditionally, when one considers “host-pathogen” interactions, one normally means the actual host. However, recently it has been recognized that the indigenous microbiota play a major role in the infectious process. We have been studying the role of the microbiota in enteric infectious diseases using pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella murine models. It is becoming apparent that the microbiota plays a critical role in immune development and host responses, and the establishment and outcome of infectious enteric diseases. The microbiome also impacts on host susceptibility to disease, and even affects the host metabolome during infection. Results probing these aspects will be discussed in the context of these infectious agents, and how this affects host-pathogen interactions.

Lecture 4: Salmonella: From Diarrhea to Typhoid Fever

4Salmonella interacts extensively with several host cells and tissues, as well as the intestinal microbiome during the infectious process. Systemic salmonellosis (typhoid-like) has been extensively characterized, but only recently have murine models that produce gastroenteritis been developed. Using a variety of murine models, we have been studying various aspects of salmonellosis. These include development of a new chronic model of fibrosis induced by Salmonella in a chronic infection model. We have also been studying how Salmonella reside within the gall bladder epithelium, a process essential for carriage and shedding in bile associated with spread of typhoid fever, yet very poorly characterized. We have also been examining the effect of Salmonella on the microbiota, and how this contributes to intestinal colonization and gastroenteritis. Various aspects of these interactions will be discussed in light of their contribution to salmonellosis.

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Cours et travaux du Collège de France. Annuaire 111e année, Collège de France, Paris, avril 2012, p. 880-881. ISBN 978-2-7226-0156-7

Référence électronique

Brett Finlay, « Lectures », L’annuaire du Collège de France [En ligne], 111 | 2012, mis en ligne le 22 novembre 2013, consulté le 21 février 2018. URL :

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Brett Finlay

Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Vancouver (Canada)

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Collège de France

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