William E. Swords

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Pili of pathogenic Neisseria are major virulence factors associated with adhesion, twitching motility, auto-aggregation, and DNA transformation. Pili of N. meningitidis are subject to several different post-translational modifications. Among these pilin modifications, the presence of phosphorylcholine (ChoP) and a glycan on the pilin protein are(More)
Otitis media (OM) is among the leading diseases of childhood and is caused by opportunists that reside within the nasopharynx, such as Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. As with most airway infections, it is now clear that OM infections involve multiple organisms. This study addresses the hypothesis that polymicrobial infection alters the(More)
In order for the opportunistic Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to cause an airway infection, the pathogen interacts with epithelial cells and the overlying mucous layer. We examined the contribution of the biofilm polysaccharide Psl to epithelial cell adherence and the impact of Psl on proinflammatory signaling by flagellin. Psl has been(More)
BACKGROUND Otitis media is an extremely common pediatric infection and is mostly caused by bacteria that are carried within the nasopharyngeal microbiota. It is clear that most otitis media cases involve simultaneous infection with multiple agents. METHODS Chinchillas were infected with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or a(More)
Like many pathogens inhabiting mucosal surfaces, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) forms multicellular biofilm communities both in vitro and in various infection models. In the past 15 years much has been learned about determinants of biofilm formation by this organism and potential roles in bacterial virulence, especially in the context of chronic(More)
BACKGROUND Otitis media, for which antibiotic treatment failure is increasingly common, is a leading pediatric public health problem. METHODS In vitro and in vivo studies using the chinchilla model of otitis media were performed using a β-lactamase-producing strain of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi 86-028NP) and an isogenic mutant deficient in(More)
BACKGROUND Because previous studies have indicated that otitis media may be a polymicrobial disease, we prospectively analyzed middle ear effusions of children undergoing tympanostomy tube placement with multiplex polymerase chain reaction for four otopathogens. METHODS Middle ear effusions from 207 children undergoing routine tympanostomy tube placement(More)
To better understand the protein secretion mechanisms involved in the growth and pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we examined the secA gene from M. tuberculosis (tbsecA; cosmid sequence accession No. z95121.gb_ba). We generated plasmids containing the full-length tbsecA gene or a fusion containing the 5' sequence from the M. tuberculosis secA(More)
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common airway commensal and opportunistic pathogen that persists within surface-attached biofilm communities. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that bacterial stress-responses are activated within biofilms. Transcripts for several factors associated with bacterial resistance to environmental stress were(More)
Host-to-host variability with respect to interactions between microorganisms and multicellular hosts are commonly observed in infection and in homeostasis. However, the majority of mechanistic models used to analyze host-microorganism relationships, as well as most of the ecological theories proposed to explain coevolution of hosts and microbes, are based(More)