Hao Shen, Ph.D.
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Fax: (215) 573-9068
Jiangxi Agr University, China, 1983.
University of California at Riverside, 1992.
Description of Research ExpertiseResearch Interests
Immunity against intracellular, emerging and co-infecting agents.
Key words: T cell responses and memory, bacterial pathogenesis, vaccine.
Description of Research
We have a long-standing interest in basic questions related to generation of effective immune responses, mechanisms of protective immunity, and the establishment of long-term immunological memory. For these basic studies, we have used two well-characterized murine models of infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and Listeria monocytogenes. More recently, we have become interested in viral/bacterial co-infections, which occur frequently in clinics and often result in more severe disease than infection by an individual pathogen. A striking example of this is the high mortality caused by secondary bacterial pneumonia following flu infection. We are: 1) studying how inflammation induced by a bacterial pathogen may affect the host response to a co-infecting viral pathogen and vice versa, 2) investigating the mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis that contribute to lethal secondary bacterial pneumonia following flu infection, 3) identifying immune mechanisms and protective antigens that provide immunity against co-infection, and 4) examining how these protective mechanisms may be inhibited during co-infection that leads to high mortality and inadequate immunological memory. Through these studies, we have gained new insights into complexity of tripartite interactions between the virus, bacterium and host immune system. Based on our new findings, we are developing novel, combinational vaccine approaches tailored towards co-infection.