Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)


Examining Function of BPD420_00474 in Bordetella pertussis

Publication Date

Spring 4-19-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Schoenfeld

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Bordetella pertussis, commonly known as the bacteria responsible for causing whooping cough, was reported to be responsible for more than 5,600 deaths per year in the United States prior to the development of a vaccine in 1960. Despite its lethality, B.pertussis remains largely unexplored due to the ambiguity of its genetic functionality, and as such, the B.pertussis vaccine has had limited success. As a continuation of previous work, this project aimed to analyze the function of a specific B.pertussis gene: BPD420_00474. This gene, proposed to be involved in coding for the production of an iron-sulfur binding oxidase, was knocked out using intricate cloning protocols with the goal of determining its in vivo function. In brief, it is expected that deletion of the gene will disrupt the electron transport chain, limiting the survival and proliferation of B.pertussis. This type of research can pave the way to crafting more effective vaccines against B.pertussis.

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