Eric Harvill, PhD
- Postdoctoral Work, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Los Angeles
- Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles
- B.S. with Honors in Molecular and Cell Biology, University Scholars Program, The Pennsylvania State University
Member of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD)
The Harvill lab examines the interactions between microbial pathogens and host immunity in the mouse model using bacteria that naturally infect mice and closely related strains that are important human pathogens. Bordetella pertussis causes Whooping Cough in humans. Extensive vaccination limits the occurrence of severe disease in industrialized countries, but has little effect on infection rates, which are so high that nearly everyone, vaccinated or not, is infected at least once during childhood. A closely related subspecies, B. bronchiseptica, naturally infects mice and other animals, allowing the molecular basis for interactions between pathogen and host to be examined in detail. Importantly, both pathogens appear to efficiently infect mice, suggesting that there is little host specificity, and similar immune parameters appear to be involved in the control and clearance of both. We use bacterial genetics to manipulate and study the virulence factors each uses to manipulate host immunity. Simultaneously, we use mouse immunological tools to manipulate the host during infection to better understand the generation and function of immunity to respiratory pathogens.
- Immunology and Infectious Disease Research Faculty
Interactions between bacterial pathogens and the host immune system