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Eric T. Harvill

Eric T. Harvill

Professor of Microbiology and Infectious Disease

Phone: 814-863-8522

Office: W210 MSC Building

Research interests

I investigate how host and pathogen characteristics and host dynamics affect the spread of respiratory infection within individuals and host populations. My group has four main research areas:

Virulence factors

  • Effects of bacterial virulence factors on infection pathology and immune response to infection within a host
  • How bacterial virulence factors such as toxins affect the dynamics of transmission between hosts (e.g. by lengthening infectious period)

Host immune functions

  • Mechanisms of immune-mediated bacterial clearance: how they differ between organs of the respiratory tract


Comparing genomes of closely-related pathogens to investigate important questions such as:

  • Which bacterial factors determine host specificity
  • How animal pathogens adapt to infect humans
  • What determines the severity of pathology
  • How bacteria cause persistent infections that last for the life of the host


  • Emergence of human pathogens from commensals of agricultural and companion animals
  • The transmission and dynamics of disease within populations

For more about Eric T. Harvill, see:


Bacterial Pathogenesis
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