Publication Date


Document Type



Science department

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Amanda Brosnahan; Dr. Taylor Mach


Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal bacterium found in the nares, skin, and mucosal membranes. In most cases, it causes no harm, but there are instances where it can become pathogenic and produce toxins that have superantigenic activity. Staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), when ingested, is the causative agent responsible for classical food poisoning symptoms such as emesis, nausea, and others. When SEA enters the bloodstream, it can cause toxic shock due to mass T cell proliferation and cytokine storm. In order to determine if positive Staphylococcus aureus samples contain the SEA gene, DNA was purified and amplified using PCR. DNA gel electrophoresis was conducted to analyze whether positive samples contain the SEA gene. We found that out of 56 samples tested only 0.07% of the samples had SEA present.

Included in

Microbiology Commons


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