Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Todd Kitten


Streptococcus sanguinis is a leading cause of infective endocarditis. Bacterial adhesion to platelets is likely important in the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis. Bacterial cell wall-anchored (Cwa) proteins may mediate this adhesion. To begin to test this hypothesis, S. sanguinis adhesion to platelets was examined in vitro. The requirement of 12 Cwa proteins for S. sanguinis-platelet adhesion was individually assessed, measuring adhesion of purified platelets to polystyrene wells coated with S. sanguinis strain SK36 or 12 isogenic Cwa protein mutants. Significantly fewer platelets adhered to wells coated with one mutant strain, VT1614. However, results of a whole-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that 8 mutants, including VT1614, adhered in significantly lower numbers to wells than did SK36. After accounting for unequal bacterial numbers, we determined there was no significant difference in platelet adhesion among the strains. This suggests that none of the Cwa proteins examined were required for S. sanguinis-platelet adhesion.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2009

Included in

Physiology Commons