Ep53- How Bacteria Survive the Immune System with Jenna Beam and Connor Wander

An arms race between bacteria and the immune system
War between bacteria and the immune system

This episode is all about bad bugs.  Specifically, a flesh-eating bacteria strain called Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus).  S. aureus is a very common bacteria that’s best known for becoming resistant to antibiotics, and becoming MRSA.  Bacteria and the immune system are always at war with each other.  Antibiotics can give the body the edge in this battle, but common resistance is making this much harder in hospitals and homes across the world.  Bacteria survive these antibiotics and the immune system is left to clean up the mess.  Currently, S. aureus is a major cause of death for bacterial infections.

To make things worse, S. aureus and other bacteria can survive more than just antibiotics:  Jenna Beam and the Conlon Lab study how bacteria escape and survive the immune system, and what we can do to stop bacteria in general.  All that and more on this episode!  Make sure to check out the full video on our new Youtube Channel! 

Jenna and the Conlon Lab just published a paper on this very topic!

Jenna Beam – UNC

Here’s a quick summary of Jenna’s research:

Jenna Beam, people’s choice winner, UNC-Chapel Hill 2019 Three Minute Thesis competition from UNC-CH Graduate School on Vimeo.

You can hear more about bacterial resistance mechanisms in general from a recent episode Dr. Brian Conlon did with Curioscity- check it out here.


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