Voelcker Academy

Research Symposium 2012


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Christine Lamaie

Identification of Factors Required for Serratia marcescens Flow Biofilm Formation

Christine Lamaie

Mentor(s): Molly Bergman PhD

Serratia marcescens is a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium that is frequently associated with nosocomial infections causing a diversity of diseases, including acute pneumonia, cystitis, pyelonephritis, prostatitis, endocarditis and sepsis. S. marcescens, like many opportunistic pathogens, can form biofilms on hospital equipment and tubing, a process likely required for subsequent seeding of patient tissues. There is a lack of knowledge regarding the molecular mech-anisms driving S. marcescens biofilm formation. Some factors have been identified using static biofilms, but the importance of these or other factors for continuous flow biofilms, which more closely approx-imate natural S. marcescens biofilms, is unknown. The objective of this project is to identify S. marcescens factors critical for flow biofilm formation and maintenance. Results from this project will engender future studies aimed at disrupting and preventing S. marcescens flow biofilms in clinically-relevant settings.