Dynamics of Pathogen growth in C. elegans during infection
Wei-Yin Chiang1*, Erel Levine1
1Department of Physics, Harvard University, MA, United States of America
* presenting author:姜瑋茵, email:weiyin@physics.harvard.edu
Experiments show the life span of C.elegans is reduced when fed on pathogenic bacteria. Pathogens that mange to pass through the worm’s pharyngeal grinder may attach to the gut, accumulate in the intestine, form colonies and evoke inflammation.These dynamics are driven in part by the motion of the viscous gut fluids. Our lab used high-resolution imaging and biophysical modeling to characterize the dynamics of fluids and bacteria in the worm intestine. Our theoretical approach is based on modeling the fluids by Navier-Stoke equations with periodical driving force and the dynamics of bacteria populations by Fisher-Kolmogorov equations. We find that the role played by the fluid is strongly dependent on the efficiency of attachment of bacteria to the gut. The implications of these findings will be discussed.

Keywords: C. elegans, pathogen growth, Navier-Stoke equation, Fisher-Kolmogorov equation