Investigation of Burkholderia cepacia Virulence
Burkholderia cepacia is an opportunistic pathogen that causes a variety of infections. Individuals with cystic fibrosis, a lethal autosomal-recessive disease, contract nosocomial infections of B. cepacia that are challenging to treat due to the organism’s resistance to multiple antibiotics. The mechanisms used by the bacterium to cause these infections are currently unknown and, therefore, alternative methods of treatment or prevention are difficult to establish. This project examined several B. cepacia strains and avirulent B. cepacia transconjugants to investigate potential virulence mechanisms. The data suggest that the extracellular enzymes protease, lipase, and phospholipase C do not significantly contribute to the pathogenicity of the organism, at least in the Caenorhabditis elegans model we used. Infection, not intoxication, by B. cepacia of C. elegans was responsible, but not necessarily sufficient for the nematocidal activities of all the strains studied. The results of these experiments also support the suitability of C. elegans as an in vivo model for studying the virulence factors of B. cepacia.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:caenorhabditis elegans burkholderia cepacia cystic fibrosis virulence mechanisms transposon mutagenesis lipase protease phospholipase c
Date of Publication:01/01/2005