Much of the damage to the cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye, during infection is from the body’s fight against the microbes. In this project you will investigate the host response to corneal infection at the onset and during the acute phase of infection, using gene expression of the ocular surface cells.
Ocular surface cells will be collected at the onset and during the acute phase of corneal infections. Methods of gene expression of corneal and conjunctival cells will be tweaked to produce profiles of the host response that will be correlated with organism strains, clinical signs and symptoms, visual outcome and complication data. Such profiling may give evidence of what pathways are important in corneal infection and highlight potential pharmacological targets. Gene expression may also predict the severity of disease and so could be used as a prognostic factor that informs treatment.
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