Bacterial pathogenesis; Vaccine development; Host-pathogen interactions; Bioinformatics; Neutrophils; Escherichia coli; Acinetobacter baumannii
Dr. Russo has two research focuses: The first involves studies on extraintestinal pathogenic isolates of Escherichia coli (ExPEC), which cause urinary tract infection, pulmonary infection, bacteremia, and other infections outside of the intestinal tract. Dr. Russo’s ExPEC studies focus on: 1) identification of new virulence determinants, 2) ExPEC-host interactions, and 3) vaccine development. Dr. Russo has begun a new COE-based project in collaboration with Drs. Gill and Campagnari. These studies involve Acinteobacter, which is a bacterium that causes nosocomial infections and combat-related infections. Acinetobacter-related studies include: 1) Identification and initial assessment of potential vaccine candidates, 2) Molecular epidemiologic assessment of military and civilian healthcare associated Acinetobacter strain collections, 3) Genome sequencing of representative military and civilian associated A. baumannii strains, and 4) Comparative prevalence of virulence factors, antibiotic resistance genes, and genes that encode surface-exposed epitopes between military and civilian healthcare associated A. baumannii isolates by microarray analysis.