Song Lab @ Cornell

Typhoid Toxin & Salmonella Typhi Pathogenesis

Typhoid fever – caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) adapted solely to humans – is one of the most successful and devastating infectious diseases in human history, and remains a major global health threat with continuing outbreaks occurring in some developing countries.

Using this exemplary bacterial pathogen that causes a serious real-world problem that kills 0.2 million and sickens 21 million people every year, we seek answers to fundamental biological questions such as

1. What makes S. Typhi so pathological?

2. Despite an extremely narrow host range, 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 bacterial pathogen, typhoid toxin, and the host.

We hope that our research provides critical insights into the pathogenesis of human-specific pathogens, and thus offers rational avenues to the development of more effective ways of treating and preventing typhoid fever.