Streptococcus agalactiae, otherwise known as Group B Streptococcus (GBS), is a zoonotic, Gram-positive, commensal and invasive bacteria which is the leading cause of neonatal bacterial infections. These bacterial infections include sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, and bacteremia. In neonates, GBS is most commonly transferred to the child in utero or during birth when the child aspirates amniotic or vaginal fluids. GBS can also infect the child through the bloodstream while in utero, causing premature births or still births. Children who survive the initial infection develop severe morbidities which include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and seizures. GBS can also affect immunocompromised adults, leading to urinary tract infections, skin, and soft tissue infections, bacteremia, pneumonia, arthritis, and endocarditis. While there are current antibiotic methods of treatment, these treatments can lead to drug resistance. Therefore, other methods for treating GBS infections are desired. In this research project, creating a GBS CpsA double mutant in the LytR extracellular domain was attempted to determine how the double mutant affects capsule production. Formation of the CpsA double mutant was difficult and confirmation that the mutant is the correct sequence was not reached. In the future, the double mutant will be sequenced to determine the amino acid sequence of CpsA with alterations in the correct sequence. Then, this strain will be utilized to determine the role of these specific residues on GBS capsule level through an ELISA and morphology assays, and virulence will be measured through a zebrafish systemic infection.
Klier, Klarissa, "Construction of a CpsA Double Mutant to Determine the Function of the Lyt-R Domain" (2019). Honors College. 506.