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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Immunology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Jeffrey Withey

Abstract

Vibrio cholerae, the cause of the diarrheal disease cholera, is a gram-negative, curved rod-shaped bacterium, with a single polar flagellum. V. cholerae is naturally found in aquatic environments and is highly motile. When it enters a human host, V. cholerae uses flagellar motility to pass through the stomach and into the small intestine. Once in the small intestine, motility genes are downregulated and virulence gene expression is upregulated. V. cholerae motility and chemotaxis effects have not yet been studied in a zebrafish model, a natural host of this bacterium. We hypothesize that V. cholerae in frame deletions of vital motility and chemotaxis proteins, such as flaA, cheY-3, and motY, would decrease the ability of V. cholerae to colonize the zebrafish intestine. However, the deletion of chemotaxis gene cheY-3 actually significantly increases the ability of V. cholerae to colonize the zebrafish intestine, and only the deletion of motility gene motY significantly decreases colonization compared to wild-type.

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