Host–Pathogen Systems Biology

  • Christian V. Forst


Unlike traditional biological research that focuses on a small set of components, systems biology studies the complex interactions among a large number of genes, proteins, and other elements of biological networks and systems. Host-pathogen systems biology examines the interactions between the components of two distinct organisms: a microbial or viral pathogen and its animal host. With the availability of complete genomic sequences of a variety of hosts and pathogens, together with breakthroughs in proteomics, metabolomics, and other experimental areas, the investigation of host-pathogen systems on a multitude of levels of detail has come within reach. This chapter introduces methods and approaches for the analysis of host-pathogen systems. We will particularly emphasize the role of biochemical networks for the study of complex relationships across species boundaries. Although the research area of host-pathogen systems biology spans multiple spatial and temporal scales, we will focus on the molecular and cellular aspects of pathogen-host interactions. We will cover the construction of biochemical networks, the identification of functional response sub-networks, and their comparative network analysis. These methods find application in the identification of host markers and drug targets for further drug development and therapeutic interventions. We will also provide a brief review of other modeling techniques and applications within host-pathogen systems biology, including rule-based modeling of signal transduction pathways, immune system models, and physiological top-down approaches.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus System Biology Biological Network Protein Interaction Network System Biology Markup Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian V. Forst
    • 1
  1. 1.UT Southwestern Medical Center in DallasDallasUSA

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