Jason Carlyon, Ph.D.
Microbiology and Immunology
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia

“Pathogen as Cell Biologist: Infection Strategies of Tick-Transmitted Bacterium, Anaplasma phagocytophilum”

Evolution at the host-microbe interface has selected for obligate intracellular bacteria to act as
“master cell biologists” that co-opt/modulate eukaryotic cellular processes to their advantage.
Understanding the mechanisms by which these pathogens invade, propagate within, and
disseminate from host cells could yield new targets for preventing or treating infectious disease. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a tick-transmitted obligate intracellular bacterium that causes granulocytic anaplasmosis, a potentially severe infection of humans and some domestic animals. Treatment options for this globally emerging health threat are limited, and no vaccine exists. Its lifestyle as an obligate endosymbiont that infects neutrophils to complete its enzootic cycle engenders A. phagocytophilum success as a pathogen when vectored to accidental human and other non-reservoir hosts. This lecture will describe how A. phagocytophilum uses multiple adhesins to facilitate entry and how interfering with one or more of these interactions impairs infection. The A. phagocytophilum vacuole (ApV) is a hub that acquires vesicular traffic from numerous organelle sources to drive its intracellular parasitism and infectious progeny production. The lecture will also mechanistically explain how the ApV promiscuously interacts with multiple membrane trafficking pathways as well as how this strategy can be targeted to impede different infection cycle stages. Overall, this talk will review insights into A. phagocytophilum molecular pathogenesis and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

NEW LOCATION: Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Drexel University Campus in University City, 3245 Chestnut Street (33rd and Chestnut), Philadelphia 19104

Reception (free): 5pm

Lecture: 6 – 7pm

Parking: Drexel University Parking Garage, 34th Street between Chestnut and Market Streets, entrance is on 34th and Ludlow), Philadelphia, PA 19104. Parking validation will be provided if using this garage at a cost of $5.00.

Septa Subways and Trolleys: The Market-Frankford Line (the Blue Line) stops at 30th and 34th streets, and all trolley trains (the Green Lines) stop at 30th and 33rd streets. Directions to PISB are below. 

  • From 30th Street Station to Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB): Walk one block south to Chestnut Street. Follow Chestnut Street west, passing under a train bridge, to the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB) located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets.
  • From 33rd or 34th Street and Market Street to PISB: Walk one block south to Chestnut Street. Proceed east on Chestnut Street. The Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building is located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets. 

Meeting Recording: For those individuals who cannot make it to the meeting, we will live stream the meeting either by Zoom (see branch email) or our Branch YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/@epaasm/streams