The goal of the work of the Unit is to gain knowledge on the normal behavior of the eukaryotic cell, and on its disruptions during an infectious process. We focus on the mechanisms of entry and intracellular fate of intracellular bacteria, Chlamydia.
Chlamydiae species pathogenic to humans, mainly Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae, cause a number of diseases, including trachoma, pelvic inflammatory disease and pneumonia. Primary infections are often minor or asymptomatic; the consequences appear long after infection. Throughout their cycle in the host cell, chlamydiae remain in a membrane-bound compartment called an inclusion. We investigate the interactions between the bacteria and the cells during infection. We focus mainly on the functional study of proteins secreted by the bacteria into the host cytoplasm by a process called type III secretion.