Research | Publications | Awards | Posters & Presentations
Dube lab - STRF: 279.1 C-H Tel: (210) 562-4175Fax: (210) 562-4191Email:
BS in Microbiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
MS in Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common human respiratory pathogen that causes both pulmonary and extrapulmonary diseases. M. pneumoniae is increasingly associated with acute exacerbations of asthma, but the mechanisms by which M. pneumoniae impacts asthma are not well understood. M. pneumoniae produces an ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating toxin, which is unique among bacterial toxins due to its dual activity. The toxin is is termed the Community Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome (CARDS) toxin. Clinical studies show that up to 40% of chronic stable asthma patients test positive for M. pneumoniae by PCR and treatment of these patients with antibiotics significantly improves lung function. These findings are paralled by clinical studies demonstrating the presence of CARDS toxin in refractory asthmatics. The purpose of my studies is to evaluate the impact of CARDS toxin in modulating pulmonary immune responses to trigger or exacerbate asthma in mice. Our data shows that CARDS toxin induces an asthma-like disease in naïve mice after a single exposure, resulting in allergic-like inflammation characterized by lymphocytic infiltration, mucus metaplasia and eosinophilia. The histopathological changes correlate with allergic asthma-associated cytokine and chemokine induction and decreases in pulmonary function. Because the strongest clinical link between M. pneumoniae and asthma is in the acute exacerbation of human asthma, we have tested the effects of CARDS toxin on a pre-existing mouse model of asthma. Our data shows CARDS toxin can exacerbate many of the features common to allergic inflammation including T-helper type 2 responses, inflammation and airway hyperreactivity. These exciting results warrant further studies to understand the impact of CARDS toxin as an important mediator in the exacerbations of human asthma in those infected with M. pneumoniae.
2011 Translational Science Training Across Disciplines Fellowship, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
2011 Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis T-32 Training Grant, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
2011 Samuel Kaplan Award, Honorable Mention, Poster Presentation in Medical Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology – Texas Branch Meeting, Arlington, TX
2012 AAI Trainee Abstract Award – AAI 99th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA
2012 FASEB MARC Program Travel Award – AAI 99th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA
2012 FASEB MARC Program Travel Award – AAI Advanced Course in Immunology,
2013 Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis T-32 Training Grant, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
2013 FASEB MARC Travel Award - 2013 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, Arlington, VA
2013 1st Place Poster Presentation, Texas Regional CTSA Consortium, San Antonio, TX
Translational Science Training Across Disciplines Fellowship, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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