Aoife Boyd

Senior Lecturer PhD BA

Contact Details

Senior Lecturer
Microbiology
Room 207
Department of Microbiology
Arts/Science Building
NUI Galway

T: 353-(0)91-492404
E: Aoife.Boyd@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography


Senior Lecturer in Microbiology

Director of MSc Biotechnology Programme http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/biotechnology.html

Director of Pathogenic Mechanisms Group


Research Interests:

Host-pathogen interactions

Toxins and Effectors of Type III Secretion Systems

Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Identification and characterisation of bacterial adhesins and invasins

Disruption of the intestinal barrier function by gastrointestinal pathogens

Manipulation of eukaryotic cell signalling pathways and cell activities by bacterial effector proteins

The Pathogenic Mechanisms group

The Pathogenic Mechanisms group characterises the molecular mechanisms deployed by bacteria in order to colonise, survive and multiply during infection. By identifying and characterising the mechanisms that a bacterium uses to ensure its survival and persistence in a human or animal, these molecular activities can then be targeted for the development of antimicrobials and therapeutics.

The Pathogenic Mechanisms group utilises molecular techniques and facilities to investigate the relationships between bacteria and the cells of humans and animals. The balance of bacterial pathogenic mechanisms versus the host immune resistance mechanisms determines whether the bacteria will be killed and eliminated from the host or whether the bacteria will survive in the host and multiply. Bacteria have evolved a myriad of ways by which they can tip the balance in their favour.

Several bacterial pathogens use Type III Secretion Systems (TTSS) to modulate host cell behaviour. TTSS directly channel effector proteins from bacteria into eukaryotic cells, where they cause dysfunctional regulation of  eukaryotic cell signalling proteins and sabotage the normal processes of the cell, thereby enhancing the ability of the bacteria to colonise the host. For example, cytokine and chemokine production may be altered, epithelial barrier functions may be  perturbed, or bactericidal mechanisms may be inhibited.      

Our primary research focus is the TTSS of Vibrio parahaemolyticus which  causes gastroenteritis after eating contaminated shellfish. V. parahaemolyticus has a severe detrimental economic impact on aquaculture, as well as being detrimental to human health. Our goal is to understand  the molecular basis for the  importance of TTSS in the pathogenicity of Vibrio species. 

  • Investigating the effect of TTSS on host cell behaviour and how this facilitates bacterial survival
  • Identifying and characterising the adhesins  that attach  the bacteria onto host cells to facilitate colonisation and deployment of the TTSS
  • Studying the TTSS effectors and the eukaryotic proteins that they target in order to elucidate their mechanism of action

As well as increasing understanding of Vibrio pathogenesis, this research promotes a broader knowledge of TTSS and host manipulation by pathogenic organisms. It has the potential to lead to the development of the effector toxins as tools for cell biology research. Furthermore it could lead to the identification of candidate targets as diagnostic markers and for preventive and therapeutic antimicrobial strategies, thereby improving food safety and human health.

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2014) 'Translocation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus across an in vitro M cell model'
Finn, R,Ahmad, T,Coffey, ET,Brayden, DJ,Baird, AW,Boyd, A (2014) 'Translocation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus across an in vitro M cell model'. Fems Microbiology Letters, 350 :65-71 [DOI] [Details]
(2014) 'Manipulation of intestinal epithelial cell function by the cell contact-dependent type III secretion systems of Vibrio parahaemolyticus'
O'Boyle, N,Boyd, A (2014) 'Manipulation of intestinal epithelial cell function by the cell contact-dependent type III secretion systems of Vibrio parahaemolyticus'. Frontiers In Cellular And Infection Microbiology, 3 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'The MSHA pilus of Vibrio parahaemolyticus has lectin functionality and enables TTSS-mediated pathogenicity'
O'Boyle, N,Houeix, B,Kilcoyne, M,Joshi, L,Boyd, A (2013) 'The MSHA pilus of Vibrio parahaemolyticus has lectin functionality and enables TTSS-mediated pathogenicity'. International Journal Of Medical Microbiology, 303 :563-573 [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'The Vibrio parahaemolyticus ToxRS Regulator Is Required for Stress Tolerance and Colonization in a Novel Orogastric Streptomycin-Induced Adult Murine Model'
Whitaker, WB,Parent, MA,Boyd, A,Richards, GP,Boyd, EF (2012) 'The Vibrio parahaemolyticus ToxRS Regulator Is Required for Stress Tolerance and Colonization in a Novel Orogastric Streptomycin-Induced Adult Murine Model'. Infection And Immunity, 80 :1834-1845 [DOI] [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2010) 'The Vibrio parahaemolyticus Type III Secretion Systems manipulate host cell MAPK for critical steps in pathogenesis'
Matlawska-Wasowska, K,Finn, R,Mustel, A,O'Byrne, CP,Baird, AW,Coffey, ET,Boyd, A (2010) 'The Vibrio parahaemolyticus Type III Secretion Systems manipulate host cell MAPK for critical steps in pathogenesis'. BMC Microbiology, 10 [DOI] [Details]
(2008) 'Identification of Components of the Sigma B Regulon in Listeria monocytogenes That Contribute to Acid and Salt Tolerance'
Abram, F,Starr, E,Karatzas, KAG,Matlawska-Wasowska, K,Boyd, A,Wiedmann, M,Boor, KJ,Connally, D,O'Byrne, CP (2008) 'Identification of Components of the Sigma B Regulon in Listeria monocytogenes That Contribute to Acid and Salt Tolerance'. Applied And Environmental Microbiology, 74 :6848-6858 [DOI] [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2008) 'Bordetella pertussis expresses a functional type III secretion system that subverts protective innate and adaptive immune responses'
Fennelly, NK,Sisti, F,Higgins, SC,Ross, PJ,van der Heide, H,Mooi, FR,Boyd, A,Mills, KHG (2008) 'Bordetella pertussis expresses a functional type III secretion system that subverts protective innate and adaptive immune responses'. Infection And Immunity, 76 :1257-1266 [DOI] [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2005) 'Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase toxin modulates innate and adaptive immune responses: distinct roles for acylation and enzymatic activity in immunomodulation and cell death'
Boyd A, PJ Ross, H Conroy, N Mahon, E Lavelle and KH Mills. (2005) 'Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase toxin modulates innate and adaptive immune responses: distinct roles for acylation and enzymatic activity in immunomodulation and cell death'. Journal of Immunology, 175 :730-838 [Details]
(2004) 'Adenylate cyclase toxin from Bordetella pertussis synergizes with lipopolysaccharide to promote innate interleukin-10 production and enhances the induction of Th2 and regulatory T cells'
Ross PJ, EC Lavelle, KH Mills and A Boyd. (2004) 'Adenylate cyclase toxin from Bordetella pertussis synergizes with lipopolysaccharide to promote innate interleukin-10 production and enhances the induction of Th2 and regulatory T cells'. Infection and Immunity, 72 :1568-1579 [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2002) 'Identification of in vivo expressed vaccine candidate antigens from Staphylococcus aureus'
Etz H, DB Minh, T Henics, A Dryla, B Winkler, C Triska, A Boyd, J Söllner, W Schmidt, U von Ahsen, M Buschle, SR Gill, J Kolonay, H Khalak, CM Fraser, A von Gabain, E Nagy and A Meinke. (2002) 'Identification of in vivo expressed vaccine candidate antigens from Staphylococcus aureus'. PNAS, 99 :6573-6578 [Details]
(2002) 'Selection of peptide entry motifs by bacterial surface display: application to a genomic library of Staphylococcus aureus'
Taschner S, A Meinke, A von Gabain and A Boyd. (2002) 'Selection of peptide entry motifs by bacterial surface display: application to a genomic library of Staphylococcus aureus'. Biochemistry Journal, :367-393 [Details]
(2000) 'Competition between the Yops of Yersinia enterocolitica for delivery into eukaryotic cells: Role of the SycE chaperone binding domain of YopE'
Boyd A, I Lambermont and GR Cornelis. (2000) 'Competition between the Yops of Yersinia enterocolitica for delivery into eukaryotic cells: Role of the SycE chaperone binding domain of YopE'. Journal of Bacteriology, 182 :4811-4821 [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2000) 'YscP, a Yersinia protein required for Yop secretion that is surface exposed, and released in low Ca2+'
Stainier I, S Bleves, C Josenhans, L Karmani, C Kerbourch, I Lambermont, S Tötemeyer, A Boyd and GR Cornelis. (2000) 'YscP, a Yersinia protein required for Yop secretion that is surface exposed, and released in low Ca2+'. Molecular Microbiology, 37 :1005-108 [Details]
(2000) 'Yersinia enterocolitica can deliver Yop proteins into a wide range of cell types: Development of a delivery system for heterologous proteins'
Boyd A, N Grosdent, S Tötemeyer, C Geuijen, S Bleves, M Iriarte, I Lambermont, J-N Octave, and GR Cornelis. (2000) 'Yersinia enterocolitica can deliver Yop proteins into a wide range of cell types: Development of a delivery system for heterologous proteins'. European Journal of Cell Biology, 79 :659-671 [Details]
(1998) 'TyeA, a protein involved in control of Yop releas