We study bacteria and fungi that live in the gut, their interactions with each other, and their role during infection with the human pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. This bacterium infects 1.5 million people each year in the USA alone! We use in vitro models and mouse models to study how bacteria and the understudied fungal component of the microbiota interact with each other, Salmonella, and the host. Next to conventionally raised animals we use animals that are devoid of any microbes (germ-free). These animals can be selectively colonized with the bacteria and fungi that we study. This allows us to understand relationships of these microbes and their interactions with the host in a reductionist system.
Behnsen Lab Info GEMS 2021.pdf