CRC 1182 Talk by Dr. Kayla King (Oxford University) – 29.08.2016

Biological Colloquium at the Biology Center of the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
Monday, 29 August 2016, 1 pm

Seminar room at the 4th floor of the ZMB
Am Botanischen Garten 11

As guest of the CRC 1182
Dr. Kayla King
Associate Professor in Parasite Biology at the Department of Zoology
Oxford University

Talks about:
Protection against infection: rapid evolution of microbes within worm hosts
Many animal and plant species, and even humans, harbour microbes that provide them with protection against parasites. These beneficial microbes can be a significant component of host defence that complements or replaces a repertoire of host immunity. Given their impact on host and parasite fitness, we hypothesize that defensive microbes can strongly influence host-parasite interactions on an evolutionary timescale. Here, I will show a series of experiments involving a novel, tripartite interaction between Caenorhabditis elegans worms, a defensive microbe (Enterococcus faecalis), and a virulent parasite (Staphylococcus aureus). Our results suggest that defensive microbes can rapidly evolve in response to developing infections, reducing parasite infectivity and ultimately driving evolutionary changes in parasite virulence and host immunity. Defensive microbes can thus occupy a central role in host-parasite interactions and warrant consideration as a driver of infection outcome.