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Address: 3-401 BSB
Phone: (319) 335-7817
Mentor: Patrick M. Schlievert, PhD
Undergraduate Institution: Drake University
Staphylococcus aureus is a human pathogen that can cause nearly any type of infection, ranging from relatively benign boils and skin abscesses to potentially life-threatening diseases. Among its virulent factors are superantigens which for the last several decades have been shown to have such significant roles in many major diseases caused by the organism: such as, necrotizing pneumonia, endocarditis, and toxic shock syndrome. Hence, we hypothesize that staphylococcal superantigens play an important role in osteomyelitis, an illness nearly always caused by S. aureus. Currently, we are determining the distribution of S. aureus superantigens in clinical osteomyelitis isolates. In addition, by using in vitro models and a rabbit osteomyelitis model, we will also directly examine the potential roles and associations of superantigens, especially toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, in the disease.
DeSeta F, Schmidt M, Vu B, Essmann M, and Larsen B. Antifungal Mechanisms Supporting Boric Acid Therapy of Candida Vaginitis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2009; 63(2):325-36.
Vu B, Essmann M, and Larsen B. Sodium Choleate (NaCho) Effects on Candida albicans: Implications for Its Role as a Gastrointestinal Tract Inhabitant. Mycopathologia. 2010; 169(3):183-91.
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