Please join the NSF Engineering Research Center for Precision Microbiome Engineering (PreMiEr) and host institution Duke University for a talk from Dr. Yun Shen of George Washington University.
Environmental behaviors of pathogens in complex environments and challenges to engineering interventions
Understanding the transmission of bacterial and viral pathogens in engineered water systems is of great importance to protect public health. In our study, we investigated the fate of several key pathogens in drinking water and wastewater environments. Specifically, we have 1) elucidated the physiological and transcriptional responses of Legionella pneumophila, a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen in drinking water, to different reactive oxygen species (ROS) widely adapted in water treatment. We found that L. pneumophila exhibited resistance to ROS, and different ROS targeted on different cell components of L. pneumophila. 2) We examined the abundance and diversity of viral vesicles from wastewater. Viral vesicles are persistent clusters of viruses cloaked in vesicles released from humans and animals, and they are the dominant forms of some human viruses. We found several human viruses, including norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and Sapporo virus, were associated with viral vesicles in wastewater. 3) We further investigated the persistence of viral vesicles in simulated soil environment that receives treated wastewater. Remarkably, our study demonstrated that viral vesicles exhibit greater persistence compared to free viruses in soil, underscoring the significance of detecting and controlling these vesicles in wastewater and agricultural systems. The outcomes of our study will provide insights on optimization of wastewater treatment strategies and mitigation of health risks caused by environmental pathogens.
Open to the public, but registration required for non-PreMiEr members.
Non-PreMiEr members can register for the seminar series through this link.