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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Evaluation of Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model System for Enterobacter sakazakii Pathogenesis

The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal model system for biological research. These microscopic worms that live in the soil of temperate regions have emerged throughout the scientific community as one of the most widely studied organisms. Relatively recently, this model has been adapted for the study of infectious diseases. In the bacterial pathogenesis model, it has been found that many virulence factors required for mammalian pathogenesis are also required for efficient killing of C. elegans. We are evaluating this model system for use with the bacterial pathogen, Enterobacter sakazakii, a causative agent of neonatal meningitis. The Gram negative, rod-shaped bacterium can be isolated in low levels from powdered infant formula and has reported mortality rates of 40-80%. Fast- and slow-killing assays involving several strains of E. sakazakii will be discussed.

Presenter: Amanda Schepis (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 11:15 am (Session II)