The mucosal surfaces of the body are continually exposed to insults from the environment. The entire gastrointestinal (GI) tract in particular is bombarded with food antigens and potential pathogens on a daily basis. The Manchester Immunology Research group is interested in how a healthy gut immune system is maintained, from the presence of mucins that line the GI tract, to the all-important gut bacteria that live permanently on our mucosal surfaces. Changes in the ‘healthy’ state of the gut have far reaching consequences on our ability to fight infection and regulate inflammation. We are using animal models and genetic approaches to study gut homeostasis and the effect of different types of gut bacteria on susceptibility to infection.