Welcome to the

Coombes lab

BBS Symbol & Title_transparent.png




Targeting two-component systems uncovers a small-molecule inhibitor of Salmonella virulence

Tsai, CN, NacNair, CR, Cao, MPT, Perry, JN, Magolan, J, Brown, ED, Coombes, BK. Cell Chemical Biology, May 2020


Evolution-guided discovery of antibiotics that inhibit peptidoglycan remodelling

Culp, E.J., Waglechner, N., Wang, W., Fiebig-Comyn, A.A., Hsu, Y., Koteva, K., Synchantha, D., Coombes, B.K., Van Nieuwenhze, M.S., Brun, Y.V., Wright, G.D. Nature, February 2020


Mimicking the human environment in mice reveals that inhibiting biotin biosynthesis is effective against antibiotic-resistant pathogens

​Carfrae, L., MacNair, C.R., Brown, C.M., Tsai, C.N., Weber, B.S., Zlitni, S., Rao, V.N., Chun, J., Junop, M.S., Coombes, B.K., Brown, E.D Nature Microbiology, January 2020


The Unique Lifestyle of Crohn's Disease-Associated Adherent-Invasive Escherichia coli

Shaler, C.R., Elhenawy, W., Coombes, B.K. Journal of Molecular Biology. April 25, 2019


Duodenal bacterial proteolytic activity determines sensitivity to dietary antigen through protease-activated receptor-2

Caminero, A., et al. Nature Communications, 10(1): 1198


Endocytosis of commensal antigens by intestinal epithelial cells regulates mucosal T cell homeostasis

Ladinsky, M.S., et al. Science, 8:363


The role of the host in driving phenotypic heterogeneity in Salmonella

Tsai, C.N. and Coombes B.K. Trends in Microbiology, February 2019


Host-Specific Adaptive Diversification of Crohn’s Disease-Associated Adherent-Invasive Escherichia coli

Elhenawy, W., Tsai, C.N., Coombes, B.K. Cell Host & Microbe


A macrophage-based screen identifies antibacterial compounds selective for intracellular SalmonellaTyphimurium

Ellis, M.J., Tsai, C.N., Johnson, J.W., French, S., Elhenawy, W., Porwollik, S., Andrews-Polymenis, H., McClelland, M., Magolan, J., Coombes, B.K., Brown, E.D. Nature Communications 


Antibiotics potentiate adherent-invasive E. coli infection and expansion

Oberc, A.M., Fiebig-Comyn, A.A., Tsai, C.N., Elhenawy, W., Coombes, B.K. 2019.  Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 25(4):711-721


Regulatory Evolution Drives Evasion of Host Inflammasomes by Salmonella Typhimurium

Ilyas, B., Mulder, D.T., Little, D.J., Elhenawy, W., Banda, M.M., Perez-Morales, D., Tsai, C.N., Chau, N.Y.E., Bustamante, V.H., Coombes, B.K. 2018.  Cell Reports. 


Functional diversification of the NleG effector family in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

Valleau, D., Little, D.J., Borek, D., Skarina, T., Quaile, A.T., Di Leo, R., Houliston, S., Lemak, A., Arrowsmith, C.H., Coombes, B.K., Savchenko, A. 2018.  PNAS. 


Molecular basis for CesT recognition of type 3 secretion effectors in enteropathogenic E. coli

Little, D., Coombes, B.K. 2018 PLoS Pathogens. 14(8):e1007224


The transcriptional regulator SsrB is involved in a molecular switch controlling virulence lifestyles of Salmonella

Perez-Morales, D., Banda, M.M., Chau, N.Y.E., Salgado, H., Martinez-Flores, I., Ibarra, A., Ilyas, B., Coombes, B.K., Bustamante, V.H. 2017. PLoS Pathogens. 13(7): e1006497.


Pentamidine sensitizes Gram-negative pathogens to antibiotics and overcomes acquired colistin resistance

Stokes, J.M., MacNair, C.R., Ilyas, B., French, S., Cote, J, Bouwman, C., Farha, M.A., Sieron, A.O., Whitfield, C., Coombes, B.K., Brown, E.D. 2017. Nature Microbiology. 2:17028. 1-8.


Acute infectious gastroenteritis potentiates a Crohn's disease pathobiont to fuel ongoing inflammation in the post-infectious period

Small, C.N., Xing, L., McPhee, J.B., Law, H.T., Coombes, B.K. PLoS Pathogens. 1-20.


Bacterial Evolution: Making a host-adapted bacterum

Coombes, B.K. Nature Microbiology. doi:10.1038/NMICROBIOL.2016.10


CXCL9 contributes to antimicrobial protection of the gut during Citrobacter rodentium infection independent of chemokine-receptor signaling

Reid-Yu, S.A., Tuinema, B.R., Small, C.N., Xing, L., Coombes, B.K. PLoS Pathogens. 11(2):e1004648


Salmonella evades D-amino acid oxidase to promote infection in neutrophils

Tuinema, B.R., Reid-Yu, S.A., Coombes, BK. mBio. 5(6):e01886-14.


Aspergillomarasmine A overcomes metallo-beta-lactamase antibiotic resistance

King, A.M., Reid-Yu, SA, Wang, W., King, DT., De Pascale, G., Strynadka, NC., Walsh, TR., Coombes, BK., Wright, GD. Nature (from the cover). June 26, 2014.


Persistent infection with Crohn’s disease-associated adherent-invasive Escherichia coli leads to chronic inflammation and intestinal fibrosis

Small, C.N., Reid-Yu, S.A., McPhee, J.B., Coombes, B.K. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2957.


Infection Biology: cheats never prosper

Mulder DT and Coombes BK. Nature. 494:321-322.


GogB is an anti-inflammatory effector that limits tissue damage during Salmonella infection through interaction with human FBXO22 and Skp1.

Pilar AV, Reid-Yu SA, Cooper CA, Mulder DT, Coombes BK. PLoS Pathogens. 8(6):e1002773.


A draft genome of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death.

Bos, K., Schuenemann, VJ., Golding, GB., et al. Nature. 478:506-510.


Combinations of antibiotics and non-antibiotic drugs enhance antimicrobial efficacy.

Ejim L, Farha MA, Falconer SB, Wildenhain J, Coombes BK, Tyers M, Brown ED, Wright GD. Nature Chemical Biology. 7(6): 348-350.


Identification of the regulatory logic controlling Salmonella pathoadaptation by the SsrA-SsrB two-component system.

Tomljenovic-Berube, A.M., Mulder, D.T., Whiteside, M.D., Brinkman, F.S., Coombes, B.K. PLoS Genetics. Mar 12; 6(3):e1000875.


Pathogenic adaptation of intracellular bacteria by rewiring an ancestral cis-regulatory input function.

Osborne, S.E., Walthers, D., Duong, N., Lowden, M.J., Tomljenovic, A.M., Wickham, M.E., Silphaduang, U., Waller, R.F., Kenney, L.J., Coombes, B.K.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 106: 3982–3987.

Please reload

A complete listing of the lab's publications can be found on PubMed

Dr. Brian K. Coombes’ laboratory is in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University. We are affiliated with the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine a full-service research and teaching hospital located on the McMaster University campus. The McMaster campus is situated on 300 acres of nestled in the Niagara escarpment. Hamilton is 45 minutes from Toronto.