This laboratory has focused its efforts on molecular mechanisms of mycoplasmal pathogenesis for many years. To this end, we have developed genetic systems that can be used to identify and analyze virulence factors (Tn4001, integrative vectors, reporter constructs and cloning systems). We have also identified and studied membrane activities that might be involved in virulence (nucleases and hemolysins). Our more recent studies in mycoplasmas have focused on the cilium adhesin of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (P97) and its family of genes, genomic sequencing of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae to assess genetic variability and help identify virulence factors and assist in the development of recombinant vaccines against M. hyopneumoniae. Recently, we have also developed projects with other bacterial pathogens important either to food safety or biodefense. Most notably of these is a biodefense project on vaccine development with Yersinia pestis. We also have ongoing studies on the persistence of E. coli O157:H7 in the ruminant focusing on biofilm development and transcription regulation.
- Mycoplasma Genetic Systems and Reporter Vectors
- M. hyopneumoniae adherence to swine cilia
- Recombinant Vaccines
- Mycoplasma Genomic Sequencing Projects
- Persistence of E. coli 0157:H7 in ruminants
- Molecular mechanisms of biofilm formation in E. coli O157:H7
- Quorum sensing in Yersinia pestis and development of a single dose vaccine