Prof. Bernard C. Rossier

Ms Marie-Madeleine
+41 22 704 36 41


Chemin Rieu 17
P.O. Box 270
1211 Geneva 17
+41 22 704 36 36
+41 22 704 36 37


Guillaume Duménil

Inserm, Centre for Cardiovascular Research (PARCC), Paris (France)

Tuesday, October 23, 17:30 - 18:00

Vascular colonization by Neisseria meningitidis

Bacterial infection of human vasculature can lead to unregulated systemic activation of coagulation and innate immunity and rapidly become life threatening. Neisseria meningitidis is a vascular pathogen that causes fatal septic shock and meningitis. Post-mortem histological analysis of tissues from individuals infected with N. meningitidis show large bacterial aggregates in close association with the vascular wall of small vessels. The ability of this bacterium to colonize blood vessel endothelium is likely to impact its capacity to both multiply in the blood stream and reach the brain. This process is referred to as vascular colonization. Recent work from our group exploring the early steps in N. meningitidis vascular colonization will be reported, from attachment to proliferation and dissemination, focusing on the bacterial–host interaction.


After his PhD in the laboratory headed by Philippe Sansonetti at the Institut Pasteur, Guillaume Duménil joined the laboratory headed by Ralph Isberg at Tufts University as a postdoctoral fellow. He then obtained a position at Inserm to join the laboratory headed by Xavier Nassif to study infections caused by the extracellular pathogen Neisseria meningitidis. After obtaining a prestigious starting grant from Inserm (ATIP-Avenir), Guillaume Duménil is now Team Leader at the Paris-Centre for Cardiovascular Research (PARCC). The main focus of his research is the study of the interaction of pathogenic bacteria with blood vessels during septicemia and meningitis.