Cassandra Jordan

Participant: PROMISE AGEP Research Symposium


Cassandra Jordan

Department: Microbiology and Immunology

Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)



The Inflammatory Effects of Bordetella pertussis on Human and Mouse cells

Cassandra Jordan and Nicholas Carbonetti, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Whooping cough, caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, has seen a resurgence in recent years with the most severe cases seen in infants. The use of the original whole-cell pertussis vaccines reduced instances of whooping cough dramatically. After the whole-cell vaccine was replaced with an acellular vaccine, increased incidence of whooping cough was seen, leading to an investigation for alternative methods at combatting the disease. In experimental animal models of pertussis, lung inflammation is a major characteristic of the disease. In this investigational study, we will analyze the inflammatory response of both mouse and human cells in response to B. pertussis bacteria and we will investigate the effects of pertussis toxin (PT), a major virulence factor promoting inflammation in vivo. Mouse and human macrophages as well as human epithelial cells derived from the respiratory tract will be exposed to B. pertussis and inflammatory responses analyzed. We hypothesize that exposure to B. pertussis will result in inflammatory responses in both mouse and human cells and that PT will exacerbate these responses. We will also investigate the effect of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor targeting drugs on these responses, since these drugs reduce lung inflammation during B. pertussis infection in vivo. This study will further provide data involving host directed therapies for patients affected by B. pertussis.



I am currently a STAR-PREP (Science Training for Advancing Biomedical Research Postbaccalaureate Program) research fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Microbiology and Immunology lab of Dr. Nicholas Carbonetti. The lab focuses on the bacterium responsible for whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis. My research focuses on the inflammatory effects of one of the exotoxins produced by B. pertussis, pertussis toxin. So far I have been able to introduce mouse monocytes to both wild type B. pertussis and B. pertussis lacking the pertussis toxin to view the inflammatory effects via cytokine production. I will be introducing purified pertussis toxin to wild type B. pertussis as an additional element, greater time points, and human cell lines for comparison. Along with the investigation of pertussis toxin I have also been investigating one of the effects of sphingosine-1-phosphate, one of the receptor drugs that could potentially be used as a therapeutic aiding in the reduced pulmonary inflammation related to B. pertussis.



University of Maryland School of Medicine Summer Research Symposium

  • Poster Presentation: The inflammatory effects of Bordetella pertussis in Human and Mouse Macrophages, August 2018

Aurora University Undergraduate Research Symposium

  • Oral presentation: Development of a Temperature Sensitive Biosensor (E. coli), April 2018
  • Poster presentation: The effects of overfishing, May 2017
  • Oral presentation: Market substitutions of labeled fish poster, May 2017



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