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Indira Kudva

Research Microbiologist

Dr. Indira T. Kudva
Research Microbiologist

Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research Unit
1 North, Room #1121
1920 Dayton Avenue
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: (515) 337-7376
Fax: (515) 337-7438


B.Sc.  Stella Maris College, Chennai, India; Zoology; 1984

M.Sc.  Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India; Medical Microbiology, 1987
Ph.D.  University of Idaho, Moscow, ID; Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 1997

Postdoctoral Fellowships:

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID; 1998
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; 2001

Professional Appointments:

Diagnostic Laboratory Manager, St. John’s Medical College Hospital, India; 1988-1992   
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital,   
Boston, MA; 2001-2007     

Consultant and Owner, Microbianome, Newberry, FL; 2008-2009     

Affiliate Assistant Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; 2014-Current                                             

Laboratory Personnel:
Technician: Mr. Bryan Wheeler, B.S.

Student Interns: 
Ms. Hannah Mazon, USDA National Scholar

Research Interests and Projects:

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are foodborne pathogens that can cause disease in humans ranging from diarrhea, bloody diarrhea or hemorrhagic colitis to the hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with kidney failure and death.  Although several ruminants harbor STEC, cattle are considered to be the primary reservoirs for these bacteria, as most outbreaks have been linked, directly or indirectly, to bovine sources.   STEC colonize the gastrointestinal tracts of cattle but the animals remain asymptomatic and disease-free.  My current research is molded around the USDA mission to develop preharvest (before slaughter) strategies to control STEC in cattle in order to minimize 'farm to fork' contamination of food.  Towards this end, I am using global (proteomics, metabolomics, microbiome analysis) and targeted (genetic, histological, cell and in vitro organ culture, animal study) technologies to analyze STEC colonization dynamics and identify key targets for therapeutic and diagnostic use.  Projects in my laboratory address, (i) STEC interactions with the bovine gastrointestinal cells especially those at the recto-anal junction (RAJ), (ii) STEC factors that promote its survival in the bovine rumen and persistence at the RAJ, (iii) Adherence mechanisms deployed by STEC in strain and host-dependent manner, (iv) Development of rational vaccines and vaccine-alternatives that target STEC in cattle and (v) Development of diagnostic assays to study STEC adherence and to identify STEC-colonized cattle.

Recent Publications:


Kudva IT, Carter, M. Q., Sharma, VK, Stasko, JA, Giron, JA. (2016). Curli temper adherence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to squamous epithelial cells from the bovine recto-anal junction in a strain-dependent manner. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 83:e02594-16.

Sharma, VK, Kudva IT, Bearson, BL, Stasko, JA (2016).  Contributions of EspA filaments and curli fimbriae in cellular adherence and biofilm formation of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7.  Plos One  DOI: 0.1371/journal.pone.0149745.

Kudva IT, Krastins, B, Torres A., Griffin R, Sheng H, Sarracino D, Hovde C, Calderwood, S., and John M (2015).  The Escherichia coli O157:H7 cattle immune-proteome includes outer membrane protein A (OmpA), a modulator of adherence to bovine recto-anal junction squamous epithelial (RSE) cells.Proteomics  15:1829-1842.

Cote R, Katani R, Matthew M, Kudva IT, Aarthur T, Debroy C, Mwangi, M, Albert I, Garay J, Li L, Brandl M, Carter M, Kapur V (2015).  Comparative analysis of Super-shedder stains of Escherichia coli O157:H7 reveals distinctive genomic features and a strongly aggregative adherent phenotype on bovine rectoanal junction squamous epithelial cells.  PloS One  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116743.

Kudva IT, Stanton TB, Lippolis JD (2014).  Escherichia coli O157:H7 bovine rumen fluid proteome reflects adaptive bacterial responses.  BMC Microbiology  DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-14-48.

Kudva IT, and Stasko JA (2013).  Bison and bovine rectoanal junctions exhibit similar cellular architecture and Escherichia coli O157 adherence patterns.  BioMed Central (BMC) Veterinary Research 9:266.