Anne Morris Hooke
Professor Emerita of Microbiology
We are interested in the mechanisms bacteria use to infect human beings and cause disease, and how we can use this knowledge to prevent infection by bacterial pathogens. Specifically, our research has exploited the properties of bacterial mutants that are unable to grow at body temperature and has been applied to the following three areas: the development of temperature-sensitive mutants of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes for use in quantitative assays measuring the bactericidal activity of phagocytes; the development of a model using temperature-sensitive mutants of E. coli, P. aeruginosa, Burkholderia cepacia, S. enteritidis and Haemophilus influenzae to study quantitatively the replication of the parental wild-types in experimental animals; and the combination of multiple temperature-sensitive mutations in a single strain to develop safe, live, attenuated vaccines against meningitis (H. influenzae), chronic Pseudomonas infection of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (P. aeruginosa), typhoid fever (S. typhi), strangles (Streptococcus equi) and swine pleuropneumonia (Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae).
Recently, we have turned our attention to some of the extracellular products of the opportunistic pathogen B. cepacia, in particular the lipases responsible for hydrolysing egg yolk and a non-hemolytic phospholipase C (PLC). We have purified and partially characterized the PLC and we are studying its contribution to pathogenesis in a new model using the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.
Other projects in the laboratory include the identification and characterization of polyaromatic hydrocarbon degraders isolated from creosote-contaminated Superfund Sites, and the role of quorum sensing in the regulation of expression of the virulence factors produced by B. cepacia, A. pleuropneumoniae, and S. equi.
- Muhammad, N., and A. Morris Hooke. 2003. Biomass characterization of slow sand filtration schumutzdecke and its effects on filter performance. Environ. Technol. 24:43-50.
- Muhammad, N., and A. Morris Hooke. 2003. Toxicity of heavy metals for microorganisms isolated from sand filter schmutzdecke. Environ. Technol. 24:1097-1102.
- Weingart, C., and A. Morris Hooke. 1999. A nonhemolytic phospholipase C from Burkholderia cepacia. Curr. Microbiol. 38:233-238.
- Weingart, C., and A. Morris Hooke. 1999. Regulation of expression of the nonhemolytic phospholipase C of Burkholderia cepacia. Curr. Microbiol. 39:336-341.
- Sordelli D. O., M.C. Cerquetti, M.C. Buzzola, V.E. Garcia, M.I. Gomez, and A. Morris Hooke. 1998. Attenuated mutants of Staphylococcus aureus with two temperature-sensitive lesions: isolation and characterization. MICROBIOS 94:95-102.