The Damage Bacteria Can Do
Cells in our bodies exist in layers, with close connections between them known as tight junctions. In the lab we can grow human cells and mimic these close connections to understand better how some bacteria enter the body. By loosening the connections between epithelial cells (shown in pink) like those found in your airways, bacteria can invade and cause infection. In this picture you can see how Neisseria meningitidis (shown in green), the most common bacterial cause of meningitis worldwide, can disrupt these connections giving the bacteria a route into the body. The DNA of each epithelial cell is show in blue.