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Understanding pathogenicity: a workshop for the BWC meeting of experts

posted on 2023-06-08, 19:12 authored by James Revill, Katherine Bowman, Nancy Connell
Most traditional strategies to control infectious diseases rely on boosting production of host antibodies directed against a bacterial pathogen through vaccination, or on delivering drugs designed to kill a pathogen by disrupting key components of its replication and growth cycle. However, selective pressure can rapidly lead to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, which has become a global problem. An alternative approach to controlling infection targets the virulence mechanisms a pathogen uses to overcome host defense systems. Such virulence strategies can include production of bacterial toxins, secretion of factors that alter the host’s immune reaction, formation of protective biofilms, and many others. Over the past few years, advances have continued to be made in understanding the complex interplay that occurs between host and pathogen following infection and interest has grown in exploring alternative control strategies. For example, by not directly killing the pathogen, anti-virulence approaches may be subject to less selective pressure to develop resistance or may help maintain the host’s normal flora and its protective roles. The symposium will discuss opportunities as well as challenges and will focus on two complementary topics. The morning will discuss examples of strategies targeting pathogen virulence factors and the afternoon will focus on examples of strategies for modifying a host’s immune responses to a pathogen. In addition to presentations, the meeting will include time for facilitated discussion on the potential applications and implications of this field of discovery for the Biological Weapons Convention and the biosecurity community.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • other

Event name

Workshop on Advances in Understanding Pathogenicity

Event location


Event type


Event date

3 August 2014

Department affiliated with

  • SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


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