Cell Host & Microbe

Mariana Byndloss, DVM, PhD, (left), graduate student Catherine Shelton, and their colleagues discovered that beneficial bacteria in the small intestines produce a compound that protects against obesity. (photo by Erin O. Smith)

Gut microbiota metabolite protects against obesity: study

Vanderbilt researchers have discovered that beneficial bacteria in the small intestines produce a compound that protects against obesity.

Randika “Randy” Perera, PhD, left, Wenhan Zhu, PhD, Walter Chazin, PhD, Luisella Spiga, PhD, Ryan Fansler and colleagues discovered that beneficial bacteria in the gut impact the competition that occurs between host cells and pathogens for the essential nutrient iron. (photo by Erin O. Smith)

Study discovers role for gut bacteria in host-pathogen competition for nutrients

Vanderbilt research shows that commensal gut microbes impact the host-pathogen competition for iron and has implications for therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing pathogens from acquiring essential nutrients.

Erin Green, PhD, Eric Skaar, PhD, MPH, and colleagues are studying how a certain bacterial pathogen can survive on hospital surfaces for months with no water.

VUMC team discovers how bacterial pathogen survives without water

Vanderbilt researchers are studying a bacterial pathogen that can survive on hospital surfaces — without water — for months, an ability that has helped it become a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

Lab manager Rachel Nargi prepares a B-cell culture during the recent “sprint” to develop an antibody-based treatment for Zika virus infection.

Study identifies antibodies that block alphaviruses

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have identified antibodies that, in animals, block infection by alphaviruses, which can cause chronic and debilitating joint pain and arthritis and are an increasing global health concern.

C. diff captures blood cell cofactor to build defensive shield

Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists have identified a C. diff protein system that senses and captures heme (part of hemoglobin) to build a protective shield that fends off threats from our immune system and antibiotics.

Antibody finding raises hopes for Marburg, COVID-19 treatments

Monoclonal antibodies against Marburg virus — a more lethal cousin of the RNA virus that causes COVID-19 — may aid in the development of antibody “cocktails” to counter viral infection.

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