May 13, 2019

FIVM Series presents: Bovine Bacterial Respiratory Disease

A Phenotypic and Molecular Investigation into a Polymicrobial Biofilm Disease

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is one of the most costly problems facing cattle producers, and is caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. The bacteria responsible for BRD are often responsible for a wide variety of other systemic bovine diseases that are often secondary to respiratory infection.

Biofilms are communities of bacteria that first adhere to a site then produce a polymeric substance (PS) composed of bacterial, and sometimes host, proteins, DNA, and exopolysaccharide. This PS encases the bacteria like a building housing residents, with the development of water channels that provide nutrients and remove wastes. Examples of biofilms include the plaque on teeth, an infected catheter, and cystic fibrosis.

On Friday, May 17, Dr. Thomas Inzana will talk about how biofilm infections in the host are extremely important because bacteria in a biofilm are more resistant to antimicrobial agents and host defenses, enabling them to maintain chronic infections and resist current modes of treatment.  Dr. Inzana will discuss work to identify the phenotypic and molecular basis for biofilm formation, and identify compounds that will help to dissolve a biofilm and enhance the activity of conventional therapies.

Dr. Inzana is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology, an Honorary Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiology, a Fellow of The American Academy for Microbiology, and a Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He obtained his PhD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and completed an American Board of Medical Microbiology Post-doctoral Fellowship in clinical microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Inzana recently moved to Long Island University as the Associate Dean for Research at the new College of Veterinary Medicine.  His research interests are on bacterial surface polysaccharides, the role of such polysaccharides in virulence and the host immune response to these factors that can be applied to develop improved diagnostic tests and vaccines.