Concordia University, St. Paul Science Department
Dr. Amanda Brosnahan, Dr. Taylor Mach
Research students from the Concordia University, St. Paul Science Department has collected over 1,000 nasal swabs over the past 5 years in an attempt to characterize nasal isolates of Staphylococcus aureus from healthy individuals. S. aureus is a common commensal bacterium found on the skin, in the nares, or in the vaginal tract of approximately 30% of the population. While S. aureus is typically harmless when it is growing in those areas, it can also pose a public health risk as it can act as an opportunistic pathogen to cause a variety of infections, such as toxic shock syndrome. The current study is to characterize toxin production of the S. aureus isolates collected. S. aureus' infectious capacity and its success as a pathogen is related to its expression of virulence factors, among which is the production of toxins. For this reason, a better understanding of S. aureus toxins is needed to enable further research and development of new strategies to reduce production of toxins and consequently improve therapeutic approaches.