Infection studies of a potentially hypervirulent bacterial mutant
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen associated with serious lung, skin, and hospital-acquired infections, as well as a major cause of contact lens wear-related eye infections. This summer, I am focusing on the role of an uncharacterized gene in P. aeruginosa called PA4308 during infection. We hypothesize that PA4308 might play a role in regulating normal bacterial toxin secretion during traversal across host cells, and therefore that PA4308 mutants may be hypervirulent and possibly more capable of serious infection. By using corneal cell cultures and fluorescence microscopy, I hope to determine this and build on the Fleiszig Lab’s work in studying how this bacteria causes disease in its host.