Host-Pathogen-Microbiota Interactions

The importance of RNA in maintaining cellular physiology by controlling gene expression in response to intrinsic and external cues has long been underestimated. Now, numerous human diseases have been linked to RNA functioning. Likewise, we now know that bacterial pathogens harness a large suite of noncoding RNA molecules to adapt to environmental stress and to precisely regulate their virulence programs. In an era of antibiotic crisis, it is essential to discover alternative combat strategies against pathogenic bacteria — ideally ones that spare the beneficial microbial species. The high specificity of RNA molecules provides great potential for achieving these goals. This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI).


Selected Publications

Stapels DAC, Hill PWS, Westermann AJ, Fisher RA, Thurston TL, Saliba AE, Bloomestein I, Vogel J, Helaine S
Salmonella persisters undermine host immune defenses during antibiotic treatment
Science 2018 , 362(6419): 1156-1160

Westermann AJ, Barquist L, Vogel J
Resolving host-pathogen interactions by dual RNA-seq
PLoS Pathog 2017, 13(2): e1006033

Westermann AJ, Förstner KU, Amman F, Barquist L, Chao Y, Schulte LN, Müller L, Reinhardt R, Stadler PF, Vogel J
Dual RNA-seq unveils noncoding RNA functions in host-pathogen interactions
Nature 2016, 529(7587): 496-501

Saliba AE, Li L, Westermann AJ, Appenzeller S, Stapels DA, Schulte LN, Helaine S, Vogel J
Single-cell RNA-seq ties macrophage polarization to growth rate of intracellular Salmonella
Nature Microbiol 2016, 2:16206

Westermann AJ, Gorski SA, Vogel J
Dual RNA-seq of pathogen and host
Nat Rev Microbiol 2012, 10(9): 618-630

Further Information

A current overview of the team and further information about the research group can be found on the HIRI page.

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