Dr. Amanda Brosnahan, Dr. Taylor Mach
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria that can exist asymptomatically, but can be dangerous due to it’s individual toxin profile. These various toxins, however, seem to be mutually exclusive from another in some cases. Samples of S. aureus often have superantigen SELX and some samples have Staphylococcal Enterotoxin (SE) A, B, or C. Through the use of Airtable and various methods of data organization and comparison on the strains we’ve collected on campus, we found that SELX exhibits an inverse relationship with SE- A/B/C, and that SE- A/B/C also exhibits exclusivity between the three toxins. Through thorough research on S. aureus, we also found that this exclusivity is due to the presence of mobile genetic elements and the differences in phylogenetic development of this species.