Visualisation of host-pathogen communication

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The core of biomedical science is the use of laboratory techniques to support the diagnosis and treatment of disease in clinical settings. Despite tremendous advancement in our understanding of medicine in recent years, we are still far from having a complete understanding of human physiology in homeostasis, let alone the pathology of disease states. Indeed medical advances over the last two hundred years would not have been possible without the invention of and continuous development of visualisation techniques available to research scientists and clinicians. As we have all learned from the recent COVID pandemic, despite advances in modern medicine we still have much to learn regarding infection biology. Indeed antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria are a global threat to human health, meaning research into bacterial pathogenesis is vital. In this chapter, we will briefly describe the nature of microbes and host immune responses before delving into some of the visualisation techniques utilised in the field of biomedical research with a focus on host-pathogen interactions. We will give a brief overview of commonly used techniques from gold standard staining methods, in situ hybridisation, microscopy, western blotting, microbial characterisation, to cutting-edge image flow cytometry and mass spectrometry. Specifically, we will focus on techniques utilised to visualise interactions between the host, our own bodies, and invading organisms including bacteria. We will touch on in vitro and ex vivo modelling methodology with examples utilised to delineate pathogenicity in disease. A better understanding of bacterial biology, immunology and how these fields interact (host-pathogen communications) in biomedical research is integral to developing novel therapeutic approaches which circumvent the need for antibiotics, an important issue as we enter a post-antibiotic era.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical visualisation, Volume 15: Visualisation in teaching of biomedical and clinical subjects: anatomy, advanced microscopy and radiology
EditorsEiman Abdel Meguid, Priti L. Mishall, Haley L. Nation, Paul M. Rea
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783031264627
ISBN (Print)9783031264610, 9783031264641
Publication statusPublished - 06 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Humans
  • COVID-19
  • Bacteria
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents


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