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Molecular Virology and Microbiology

Houston, Texas

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Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology
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Daniel M. Musher, M.D.

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Daniel M. Musher, M.D.

Department of Medicine-Infectious Disease

Research Interests

Pathogenesis of Bacterial Infections and Host Responses

I have a strong clinical interest in infectious diseases, especially those due to bacteria. The stimulus to my research has generally been a clinical question for which the answer was not readily available, and I have used clinical or basic techniques to address.

Broad areas of research have included urinary and pulmonary infection, and I have studied pathogenesis of, and host response to, infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Vibrio vulnificus, Treponema pallidum and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

A major focus of my laboratory in the past few years has been to evaluate the protective effect of antibody to capsular polysaccharides (CPS) of Streptococcus pneumoniae. We helped to develop a new ELISA for measuring anti-CPS antibody that has been adopted worldwide, and we showed that protection in mice correlates directly with measured levels of IgG. This assay enabled us to assess the level of immunity in the population at large and to show that antibody appears rapidly following colonization. Motivated by concern over poor responses in certain groups of subjects, we showed the importance of genetic factors in governing the immune response to these polysac-charide antigens.

Most recently we have shown that antibody present in the serum of patients at the time they are hospitalized for pneumococcal infection has poor functional activity, failing to opsonize pneumococci for phagocytosis as shown by flow cytometry or to protect mice against experimental challenge with the pneumococcal serotype.

In the past 5 years, I have opened up a new area of interest, namely in diarrheal disease/colitis due to Clostridium difficile. I have also recently extended my interest in pneumococcus to the relation between acute inflammatory events, specifically pneumococcal or Haemophilus pneumonia, and acute cardiac events such as myocardial infarction, new-onset arrhythmia or congestive heart failure.

Contact Information

Department of Molecular Virology & Microbiology
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, MS BCM385
Houston, TX, 77030, U.S.A.



M.D. - Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Postdoctoral - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Recent Publications (PubMed)