|The BBCDL's work focuses on three critical areas of infectious
1. Microorganism's life outside the host.
- Dr. Rob Atwill
Our investigators are attempting to determine those factors which
promote the survival, reproduction and transport of infectious agents
within the global environment. Why do certain infectious agents
appear and cause disease in a specific area at a given time? How
do these agents manage to transport themselves from one area of
the world to another? What makes one microbe more dangerous than
another? The answers to these and other questions must be found
in order to control the spread of disease through our environment.
2. How pathogenic microorganisms invade humans and animals to
- Dr. Barbara Byrne
Our researchers are investigating those specific invasion mechanisms
common to differing groups of pathogens that are critical for disease
production. They are also trying to determine why certain strains
within the same family of microbes are more potent in their ability
to cause disease than others. The delineation of specific infectious
processes like these undoubtedly will lead to the implementation
of new and more effective methods to control disease.
3. Defense mechanisms utilized by mammals against microorganisms.
- Dr. Johanna Watson / Dr. James MacLachlan
Susceptible human and animal hosts defend themselves against invading
pathogens through a complex system of immunological and inflammatory
processes. Our investigators are developing a better understanding
of how these process are initiated and implemented. This information
will establish why pathogenic microbes can successfully evade the
host defense mechanisms and cause disease while the majority of
environmental microorganisms cannot. Once the interactions between
host and invaders are defined, scientists can then devise methods
by which the body's own physiological processes can be utilized
to fight infectious disease.