Challenging Koch’s postulates: From the “one pathogen, one disease” paradigm to a systems biology approach toward infectious disease research.
The germ theory of disease or the causative relationship between a microbe and a disease is defined by 4 criteria known as Koch’s postulates. Up until recently, the one pathogen one disease paradigm was the gold standard for infectious disease researchers identifying a novel microbe causing an emerging disease outbreak. The big data revolution has inspired new scientific frontiers, such as systems biology, providing a better understanding of the complex ecosystems that influence human health and disease. This lecture will focus on my journey from understanding infectious disease solely from the pathogen’s perspective to implementing a systems biology approach that incorporates pathogen, the host response, and the resident microbiome. Welcome to the pathobiome.