Douglas A. Drevets M.D. D.T.M.&H.

Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne bacterium that causes severe central nervous system infection in humans and in domesticated animals.

Research in the Drevets laboratory is focused on identifying the mechanisms used by this facultative intracellular pathogen to invade the brain. Data from our laboratory show that intracellular L. monocytogenes are found within circulating monocytes in experimentally infected mice, and are actively parasitizing these blood cells. Our hypothesis is that these infected monocytes transport intracellular bacteria into the CNS in a Trojan horse-like mechanism.

Ongoing laboratory projects are directed at 2 critical areas in this process, the monocyte and the brain. Data from our laboratory show that a particular subset of mouse blood monocytes, identified by high expression of the developmentally regulated marker Ly-6C, harbor most of the intracellular bacteria.

We are interested in defining the chemoattractant signals that recruit these cells into the brain as well as the operative adhesion molecules that mediate their transmigration. From the perspective of the brain, our data indicate that bacterial infection in the periphery, and not bacterial invasion of the brain, trigger the inflammatory response in this organ. Our goal is to identify the peripheral signals, and the bacterial factor(s) that initiate them, that activate the central inflammatory response.

Recent publications

  • C. Sunderkötter, T. Nikolic|, M. J. Dillon, N. van Rooijen, M. Stehling, D. A. Drevets and P. J.M. Leenen. Subpopulations of mouse blood monocytes differ in maturation stage and inflammatory response. J. Immunol. 172:4410-4417, 2004.
  • D. A. Drevets, M. Dillon, J. Schawang, N. van Rooijen, J. Ehrchen, C. Sunderkötter and P. J. M. Leenen. The Ly-6Chi monocyte subpopulation transports Listeria monocytogenes into the brain during systemic infection of mice. J. Immunol. 172:4418-4424, 2004 .
  • D. A. Drevets, R. A. Greenfield, and P. J. M. Leenen. Central nervous system invasion by intracellular bacteria. Clin. Micro. Reviews. 17: 323-347, 2004.
  • D.A. Drevets. Plague. J. Okla. State Med. Assoc. 95:752-754, 2002.
  • Greenfield R.A., D.A. Drevets, and M. S. Gilmore. Anthrax. J. Okla. State Med. Assoc. 95:587-591, 2002.
  • Greenfield R.A., D.A. Drevets, L.J. Machado, G.W. Voskuhl, P. Cornea, and M.S. Bronze. Bacterial pathogens as biological weapons and agents of bioterrorism. Am J Med Sci 323:299-315, 2002.
  • Drevets, D.A., T.A. Jelinek, and N.E. Freitag. Listeria monocytogenes infected phagocytes can initiate central nervous infection system in mice. Infect. Immun. 69:1344-1350, 2001.
  • Drevets, D.A. and P.J.M. Leenen. Leukocyte-facilitated entry of intracellular pathogens into the central nervous system. Microbes and Infection, 2:1609-1618, 2000.
  • Drevets, D.A. Dissemination of Listeria monocytogenes by infected phagocytes. Infect. Immun. 67:3512-3517, 1999.
  • S.L. Wilson and D.A Drevets. Listeria monocytogenes infection and activation of human brain microvascular endothelial cells. J. Inf. Dis. 178:1658-1666, 1998.