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Yuqing Long

PhD in Mircrobiology

DPhil Student in Clnical Medicine

Innate mucosal immune repsonses during bacterial and viral infections


Before joining CAMS-COI, I obtained a PhD degree in Microbiology at Nankai University in China, which provided me with a solid foundation in understanding the complexities of microbial pathogenesis and host immune responses. As a passionate researcher in the field of immunology, I embarked on a journey that led me to pursue a second PhD in clinical medicine at the University of Oxford through the CSC-COI MD/PhD High-level Medical Innovative Talent Scholarships in October 2020.

Currently, I am working with Associate Professor Timothy Hinks and Professor Paul Klenerman and my research projects focus on the pivotal role of mucosal immunity in protecting the host from infections, particularly at the interface of the respiratory tracts.

Project 1: The role of MAVS protein against bacterial pneumonia

Recent findings indicate that the MAVS signalling pathway is essential for maintaining strong immune responses against viral and fungal infections. However, the specific contribution of MAVS to host defence against bacterial pathogens remains uncertain. Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a Gram-negative bacterium, has emerged as a significant pathogen in the lower airways of individuals with conditions such as neutrophilic asthma, COPD, and pneumonia patients. Using an acute murine model and infecting ex vivo freshly isolated alveolar macrophages with NTHi, our research provides evidence supporting the role of MAVS signalling in the early stages of antibacterial defence.

Project 2: The Role of Mucosal-associated Invariant T cells during Influenza A Virus Infection

The primary aim of this study is to thoroughly investigate the role of MAIT cells in viral infections. We utilized Single-cell RNA sequencing technology to construct a comprehensive single-cell map of the whole lung tissues, with a specific focus on delineating changes in the lung microenvironment during Influenza A virus (IAV) infection over time. Moreover, by analysing viral gene expression patterns at the single-cell level within two distinct mouse strains during IAV infection, we demonstrated the feasibility of visualizing the IAV  at the individual cell level. Notably, the analysis revealed the highest mRNA reads mapping to viral genes in interstitial macrophages, monocytes, and activated AT2 cells, collectively comprising up to 11.1% of all mRNA reads. Furthermore, we observed a significantly lower viral load in C57BL/6 mice compared to MR1-/- mice at the single-cell level, a distinction not evident in conventional viral titration assays.