How do host-defence peptides influence microbiome dysbiosis?


Host defence peptides (HDP) form an important part of the innate immune system of a wide variety of organisms. They are expected to play a crucial role in health by maintaining a balanced microbial community for the host, but the mechanism for this role and the reasons for its occasional failure are unknown. Here we will investigate how a particular HDP, elafin, responds to disruption of the vaginal microbial community. We will describe the vaginal dysbiosis, characterizing changes in key bacterial species, and provide a mechanism at the system and molecular levels of how elafin polices the bacterial community.


Kozlowska J, Vermeer LS, Rogers GB, Rehnnuma N, Amos S-BTA, Koller G, McArthur M, Bruce KD, Mason AJ.* Combined systems approaches reveal highly plastic responses to antimicrobial peptide challenge in Escherichia coli. PLoS Pathogens 2014 (10) e1004104


Abbott DA, Chin Smith EC, Seed PT, Chandiramani M, Shennan AH, Tribe RM. Raised trappin2/elafin protein in cervico-vaginal fluid is a potential predictor of cervical shortening and spontaneous preterm birth. PLoS One, 2014; 9:e100771.


Rogers GB, Kozlowska J, Keeble J, Metcalfe K, Fao M, Dowd SE, Mason AJ, McGuckin MA. Bruce KD. Functional divergence in gastointestinal microbiota in physically-separated genetically identical mice. Scientific Reports 2014 (4) 5437.


Haria NR, Monticelli L, Fraternali F, Lorenz CD. Plasticity and conformational equilibria of influenza fusion peptides in model lipid bilayers. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 (1838) 1169-79.

Biological Areas:

Structural Biology


Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology