Song Lab @ Cornell

Typhoid Toxin & Salmonella Typhi Pathogenesis

Typhoid fever – caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) adapted to solely to humans – is one of the most successful infectious diseases in human history, and remains a major global health threat with continuing outbreaks occurring in many developing countries. Using this examplary bacterial pathogen that causes a serious real-world problem that kills 0.2 million and sickens 21 million people every year, my research team seeks answers to fundamental biological questions, such as

(1) what makes S. Typhi so pathological? and

(2) despite an extremely narrow host range (human-specific), what makes S. Typhi so successful?

We use a multidisciplinary approach to define in molecular (when possible atomic terms), cellular, and organismal level the functional interface between this important human bacterial pathogen and the host. We hope our research offers rational avenues to the development of more effective ways of treating and preventing typhoid fever and also provides critical insights into the pathogenesis of human-specific pathogens.

Our ongoing research is supported, in part, by National Institutes of Health, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Cornell President's Council of Cornell Women Affinito-Stewart fund, and the Schwartz fund.