My lab is interested in bacterial pathogenesis -- how bacteria cause
disease. I have worked most extensively with Vibrio cholerae, the
bacterium that causes cholera, and I am also researching Francisella
tularensis, the bacterium that causes tularemia, or rabbit fever.
Cholera is found only where there are widespread problems with
sanitation, so improving water and food supplies would eliminate the
disease. Since that is unlikely to occur, a safe, cheap, effective
vaccine is needed that would protect people. To design such a vaccine,
my lab is addressing questions such as: How does V. cholerae know that
it is in a human body and that that is the place to express genes
necessary for its survival and disease potential? What are the genetic
factors responsible for V. cholerae to cause disease? How does this
organism persist in aquatic environments, which lead to human infection?
Very little is known about F. tularensis or about tularemia. It is a
highly virulent organism and can easily be aerosolized, so it is
classified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a Category A
select agent with the highest potential to be used as a biological
weapon. My lab is working to identify genetic factors responsible for F.
tularensis to cause disease and to develop suitable vaccine candidates
to protect against tularemia infection. My work in this area will be
greatly enhanced by the completion of the UTSA high-level biocontainment
Miner KD, Klose KE, Kurtz DM Jr. An HD-GYP cyclic di-guanosine monophosphate phosphodiesterase with a non-heme diiron-carboxylate active site.Biochemistry. 2013 Aug 13;52(32):5329-31.
Rodriguez AR, Yu JJ, Guentzel MN, Navara CS, Klose KE, Forsthuber TG, Chambers JP, Berton MT, Arulanandam BP. Mast cell TLR2 signaling is crucial for effective killing of Francisella tularensis. J Immunol. 2012 Jun 1;188(11):5604-11.
Sanapala S, Yu JJ, Murthy AK, Li W, Guentzel MN, Chambers JP, Klose KE, Arulanandam BP. Perforin- and granzyme-mediated cytotoxic effector functions are essential for protection against Francisella tularensis following vaccination by the defined F. tularensis subsp. novicida ΔfopC vaccine strain. Infect Immun. 2012 Jun;80(6):2177-85.
Signarovitz AL, Ray HJ, Yu JJ, Guentzel MN, Chambers JP, Klose KE, Arulanandam BP. Mucosal immunization with live attenuated Francisella novicida U112ΔiglB protects against pulmonary F. tularensis SCHU S4 in the Fischer 344 rat model. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47639.
Schaller RA, Ali SK, Klose KE, Kurtz DM Jr. A bacterial hemerythrin domain regulates the activity of a Vibrio cholerae diguanylate cyclase. Biochemistry. 2012 Oct 30;51(43):8563-70.