Abstract: Tularemia, caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a life-threatening human and animal disease. F. tularensis has a wide geographical distribution, a variety of vectors and reservoirs, and a low infectious dose, causing it to be considered a potential biological weapon and public health threat. There is currently no FDA-approved vaccine for F. tularensis. A sensitive and specific quantification method is needed to accurately detect bacterial isolates. A review of the literature has shown that real-time PCR is a more accurate quantification method than traditional quantification methods. In order to contribute to the development of a vaccine, we have evaluated four sets of primers for use in real-time PCR with F. tularensis, enhanced the genomic DNA extraction protocol to make it more efficient, and enhanced quantification done by the Nanodrop™ One Spectrophotometer. The evaluation of primers and the method validation of genomic DNA extraction and quantification will allow us to develop PCR standards for four subspecies of F. tularensis initially, and eventually will allow us to quantify bacterium in infected animal tissues. The public health significance of this work is to further vaccine development for an extremely infectious disease in humans and animals.
Advisor: Dr. Douglas Reed
Last Updated On Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Abby Kincaid
Created On Wednesday, April 11, 2018
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