Physiopathology Research Group

Infection with Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serotypes causing hemorrhagic colitis is a serious public health problem in Argentina. In some cases colitis lead to a complication known as hemolitic uremic syndrome (HUS), characterized by hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, renal failure and brain damage.

The main purpose of our laboratory is to investigate the physiopathological mechanisms associated with HUS in order to develop new strategies to reduce the incidence of STEC in human and cattle.

Research objetives:

  1. To study the cellular and molecular events involved in the cytotoxic action of Shiga toxin type 2 (Stx2).
  2. To characterize the cytotoxic action of Stx2 in an experimental model of HUS in rats. To analyze inhibitors of Gb3 synthesis as blocking agents of toxin action.
  3. To study the Stx2 action in human placenta and in pregnant rats in order to clarify if STEC infections during pregnancy could be one of the causes not yet determined of fetal morbimortality in human pregnancy.
  4. To investigate the cytotoxic action of subtilasa toxin that has recently identified in several STEC strain in order to know its contribution in the development of HUS.

Director:
Cristina Ibarra, PhD

Staff:
Claudia Silberstein, PhD
Elsa Zotta, MD, PhD
Marcela Belardo, PhD student
Juliana Burdet, PhD student
Elizabeth Gerhardt, PhD student
Federico Ochoa, MD, PhD student
Soledad Lucero, undergraduate student
Gisela Oltra, undergraduate student

Colaborations:

In Argentina:
Angel Cataldi, PhD, Instituto de Biotecnología, INTA-Castelar.
Ana Franchi, PhD, CEFYBO-CONICET
Basilio Kotsias, PhD, Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas Alfredo Lanari, Facultad de Medicina, UBA.
Elsa Mercado, MSc, Instituto de Patobiología, INTA-Castelar.
Marina Palermo, PhD, Instituto de Investigaciones Hematológicas, Academia Nacional de Medicina.
Horacio Repetto, MD, PhD, Depto Pediatría, Hospital Nacional “Prof. A. Posadas”.
Marta Rivas, MSc Servicio de Fisiopatogenia, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas. ANLIS "Dr Carlos G. Malbrán".
Mariano Fernandez Miyakawa, PhD. Instituto de Patobiología, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuárias, Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuária (INTA). Castelar, Buenos Aires.

Abroad:
José Luis Perez Quiñoy, PhD, Instituto Finlay, La Habana, Cuba.
Pierre Ripoche, PhD, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale UMR_S 665, Université Paris-Diderot, France.
James Paton, PhD. School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaida, Australia.
Carlos Guzmán, PhD, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Alemania.

Contact:
Dr. Cristina Ibarra
Paraguay 2155, 7mo piso
Buenos Aires - Argentina
TE: 5950-9500 interno 2141
e-mail: ibarra@fmed.uba.ar

Recent Publications (last 5 years)