Sepsis, a life-threatening clinical condition affecting more than 1.5 million Americans per year, is defined as an over-exuberant immune response to infection. Currently, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, and the incidence of sepsis caused by Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), has been steadily increasing since the late 1990’s. While the detailed mechanism of sepsis is not fully understood, several bacterial components are thought to contribute to the hyper-inflammatory response in humans, including lipopolysaccharide endotoxin and several other lipoproteins. Past studies suggest that one of those E. coli lipoproteins, peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (Pal), might play a significant role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. A patient diagnosed with sepsis will typically be treated with antibiotics. However, the effects of antibiotics on the release of Pal from E. coli are currently unknown. This work describes our efforts to elucidate the role of antibiotics in Pal release from E. coli using protein detection methods and a mouse model of sepsis. Our preliminary results suggest that β-lactam antibiotics have a significantly higher impact on Pal release compared to other classes of antibiotics.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Antibiotics--Effectiveness; Septicemia--Etiology; Escherichia coli; Lipoproteins

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Chemistry (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Lea Vacca Michel

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Coleman

Advisor/Committee Member

Ravinder Kaur


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes