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"Bacterial sensing, elimination, and manipulation of reactive oxygen species"

Arden Perkins headshot
Dr. Arden Perkins
Institute of Molecular Biology
University of Oregon
Online via Zoom
Special Information:
Please contact Nancy Perkins at for Zoom link and passcode
Type of Event:
Department Seminars


The paradigm has been that reactive oxygen species are toxic to bacteria. Indeed, an important strategy by which immune cells like neutrophils control and eliminate invading microbes is through synthesizing bleach (HOCl), the same chemical used as a household disinfectant. However, bacteria that colonize animals are not passive players and have evolved their own counter strategies to manipulate and repurpose reactive oxygen species in surprising ways. My research focuses on pro-inflammatory bacteria that have acquired robust antioxidant defenses sufficient to colonize inflamed tissue and tolerate millimolar concentrations of bleach. I will discuss my discovery that some pathogenic bacteria are attracted to bleach, which is potentially a mechanism by which they seek and acquire nutrients from damaged host tissue. 

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