Our bodies contain ten times more bacteria than cells and their activity is
essential for our organisms. A true symbiosis exists between humans and
microbes, the complex mechanisms of which can only be decoded using molecular
genetics. However these bacteria can also cause infectious and parasitic
diseases which kill over 15 million people a year throughout the world. To
develop effective treatments and vaccines for such diseases, scientists need
to know how bacteria outmanoeuvre the body’s defence mechanisms and how to
decipher the rules of war and peace between microbes and humans.