Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-13-2014

School

School of Health Sciences

Major

Biology: Cell and Molecular Biology

Keywords

microbiology, intestinal microbiota, colonization, pathogen. E. coli, C. rodentium, biology, molecular biology

Disciplines

Bacteriology | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Pathogenic Microbiology

Abstract

Enterohemorrhagic Escherechia coli is a serious human pathogen causing bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome. It is difficult to study in animal models, but pathogenesis may be modeled in mice with the similar murine pathogen, Citrobacter rodentium. C. rodentium does not cause disease in streptomycin-treated mice, suggesting that it is competition with other facultative anaerobes that triggers pathogenesis. Streptomycin-treated mice were co-colonized with C. rodentium and a commensal E. coli strain. The intestinal microbiota of each group was observed over a 15-day period using quantitative PCR. Colon weights were also measured over the same period. Results indicate that the disease caused by competition is not similar to normal C. rodentium pathogenesis. Further research is necessary to determine the precise mechanism of pathogenesis in this experimental model. The outcome may provide new insight into enterohemorrhagic E. coli prevention and treatment.

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