Stephen C Edberg PhD

Professor Emeritus of Laboratory Medicine

Research Interests

Bacteria; infection; metabolic activity; enzyme production; diarrhea


Research Summary

My research is primarily focused on which characteristics of bacteria make them virulent for human beings. In particular, I am interested in bacteria that are found in the environment that may cause infection in human beings. To determine the virulence characteristics of bacteria, my laboratory has examined a wide variety of bacterial species from the environment and from human clinical infections to determine the most important characteristics associated with invasiveness. The bacteria have been analyzed based on metabolic activity, enzyme production, the ability to attach to and to penetrate into cells and the ability to produce certain DNA sequences that are associated with virulence. My laboratory is now engaged in a major Centers for Disease Control project on the examination of the causes of diarrhea. Patient specimens and age-matched controls are examined for three groups: those which are known; those which are suspected; and those which are speculative. In addition, normal flora bacteria are screened for antibiotic resistance. The Clinical Microbiology laboratory also engages in collegial research with both basic and clinical investigators. Plus, it generates its own projects for the residents and fellows.


Selected Publications

  • Vielemeyer O. Crouch JY. Edberg SC. Howe JG. Identification of Bordetella pertussis in a critically ill human immunodeficiency virus-infected patient by direct genotypical analysis of Gram-stained material and discrimination from B. holmesii by using a unique recA gene restriction enzyme site. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 42(2):847-9, 2004 Feb;
  • Rakoff-Nahoum, S., Paglino, J., Eslami-Varzanch, F., Edberg, S., Medzhitov, R. Recognition of commensal microflora by toll-like receptors is required for intestinal homeostasis. Cell. 229-241, 2004;
  • Edberg, S.C. and Allen, M.J. Virulence and risk from drinking water of heterotrophioc plate count bacteria in human population groups. International Journal of Food Microbiology 92:255-263, 2004;
  • Allen, M.J., Edberg, S.C., and Reasoner, D.J. Heterotrophic plate count bacteria - what is their significance from drinking water. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 265-274., 2004;

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