Lingdi Zhang, Ph.D. Candidate,
New York University
Title: Characterization of the respiratory tract microbiome in influenza infection
Abstract: Recent studies have shown that the microbiome of the respiratory tract is disrupted during influenza virus infection. However, functional effects on the microbial ecology of the airways and on transmission of bacterial pathogens have not been fully assessed. Metagenomic-type analyses ofthe microbiome provide the resolution necessary for microbial tracking and functional assessments in the airways. By analyzing the metagenomes from the influenza household transmission studies, we showed that both microbial composition and functional potentials were disrupted during influenza infection. We demonstrated that CRISPR arrays can be used as high-resolution markers to study bacteria transmission between individuals but that tracking antibiotic resistance transmission would require data to more accurately link antibiotic resistance genes to bacterial genomes.