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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Acid Tolerance of Enterobacter sakazakii

Enterobacter sakazakii is an opportunistic pathogen and a rare, but important, cause of neonatal meningitis, sepsis, and necrotizing entercolitis with a mortality rate reported to be 40% - 80%. Powdered milk-based infant formulas have been implicated as the source for such infections in premature and otherwise immunocompromised infants. Because the organism is acquired through ingestion, it is likely that it has mechanisms which enable it to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach, as seen in other food-borne pathogens. In order to characterize these mechanisms, we are exposing the organism in different growth phases to an acidic pH and measuring survival rates. The organism has shown an ability to survive at an acidic pH within the range of formula-fed infant stomachs.

Presenters: Mary Heberger (Graduate Student)
Amanda Schepis (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)