Certain plant lectins show anti-HIV activity in cell culture and may prove to be effective microbicides in blocking HIV infections

prof. dr. Van Damme Els

prof. dr. ir. Bossier Peter

A host-microbe model has been developed using the complete annotated Artemia genome, recently been obtained by UGent laboratories.

Host-microbial interactions are notoriously difficult to study, especially for aquatic hosts. Under natural conditions it is virtually impossible to distinguish effects of the standing microbial community from those induced by the micro-organism under study. The Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Centre developed a gnotobiotic culture system using the brine shrimp Artemia as a model host. With this set-up we can study host-microbial interactions in great detail for pathogens (e.g. Vibrio) and probionts (e.g.  Bacillus) excluding the interference of a background microbial community. In addition, the complete annotated Artemia genome has recently been obtained by the joint effort of UGent laboratories.

This model allows quick verification of the effect of compounds interfering with host microbial interactions by looking at the performance of the host including its innate immunological response.