Secretion and Environmental Biochemistry of Legionella pneumophila in Corrosive Water

dc.contributor.authorBrown, Connor Leeen
dc.contributor.committeechairMukhopadhyay, Biswarupen
dc.contributor.committeememberSlade, Daniel J.en
dc.contributor.committeememberPruden, Amyen
dc.description.abstractLegionella pneumophila and other opportunistic pathogens of drinking water pose important problems at the interface of biology, environmental engineering, public health, and governance. In this thesis, I explore the molecular mechanisms permitting survival of L. pneumophila in built water systems is the nature of its physiology under different conditions and different life-phases. In the first chapter, I discuss how various physiological states of L. pneumophila affect the propensity for survival and virulence in relation to drinking water environments. This literature review should provide a perspective important for designing controlled laboratory experiments rooted in a robust understanding of how phenotype dictates experimental results. In the second chapter, I describe sequence and phylogenetic analyses performed to investigate the presence of a type 1 secretion system and virulence factor throughout the Legionella genus. While this system was previously believed to be conserved to L. pneumophila, our analysis indicates that this system is well-distributed throughout the Legionella genus, blurring the lines between "pathogenic" and "non-pathogenic" species. In the third chapter, I report the secretome of endemic Flint, Michigan L. pneumophila in corrosive water, simulating the environmental impact of the Flint Water Crisis on local L. pneumophila populations. Our results from this study have expanded the secretome of L. pneumophila, provided insight on mechanisms it may employ to resist stress in water, and created several novel lines of inquiry at the merging frontier of biochemistry and environmental engineering.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Science in Life Sciencesen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectFlint Water Crisisen
dc.titleSecretion and Environmental Biochemistry of Legionella pneumophila in Corrosive Wateren
dc.typeThesisen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Science in Life Sciencesen


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