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Biological Sciences Profiles

Anna Seekatz

Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences Department

Office: 157A Life Sciences Building
Phone: 864-656-9921


 Educational Background

PhD Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
University of Maryland School of Medicine 2013

BS Cellular and Molecular Biology
Western Washington University 2006

 Research Interests

My lab is interested in studying interactions between infectious diseases and the gut microbiota, the indigenous microbes that live in our gastrointestinal tract. We use a combination of bioinformatics, animal models of disease, and microbiology to understand how beneficial microbes function during health and disease states.

One focus of the lab is Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile infection (CDI), a serious nosocomial infection that affects half a million individuals per year in the United States. The majority of CDI cases occur after antibiotic use, and we know that a healthy gut microbiome is important in resistance to C. difficile. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has become a common and effective treatment method for combatting recurrence of infection, which impacts 20-30% of individuals with CDI. While it is known that a diverse community of microbes is necessary for clearance of C. difficile, the functional contribution of these communities remains unknown. We study how microbial communities interact with the host to clear C. difficile in a mouse model of recurrent disease. We aim to understand: 1) which microbes are involved, 2) what metabolites are important, and 3) how the host responds during C. difficile clearance and disease recovery.


Shimasaki T, Seekatz A, Bassis C, Rhee Y, Yelin RD, Fogg L, Dangana T, Cisneros EC, Weinstein RA, Okamoto K, Lolans K, Schoeny M, Lin MY, Moore NM, Young VB, Hayden MK; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epicenters Program. Increased relative abundance of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae within the gut microbiota is associated with risk of bloodstream infection in long-term acute care hospital patients. Clin Infect Dis 2018; Sep 18 (epub-ahead of print). PMID: 30239622.

Seekatz AM, Bassis CM, Fogg L, Moore NM, Rhee Y, Lolans K, Weinstein RA, Lin MY, Young VB, and Hayden MK. Gut microbiota and clinical features distinguish colonization with Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae at the time of admission to a long-term acute care hospital. Open Forum Infect Dis 2018; July 31, 5(8):ofy190. PMID: 30151415.

Seekatz AM, Wolfrum E, DeWald CM, Putler RKB, Vendrov KC, Rao K, and Young VB. Presence of multiple Clostridium difficile strains at primary infection is associated with development of recurrent disease. Anaerobe 2018; May 31 (epub ahead of print). PMID: 29859301.

Seekatz AM and Young VB. The tangled web of interactions between host, pathogen and microbiota in C. difficile infection. Gastroenterology 2018; Mar 28. PMID: 29601830.

Seekatz AM, Rao K, Chang YM, Freeman AE, Kao JY, and Young VB. Restoration of short chain fatty acid and bile acid metabolism following fecal microbiota transplantation in patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Anaerobe 2018; April 12.

Daquigan N, Seekatz AM, Greathouse KL, Young VB, and White JR. High-resolution profiling of the gut microbiome reveals the extent of Clostridium difficile burden. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes 2017 5(3):35. PMID: 29214047.

Bassis CM, Moore NM, Lolans K, Seekatz AM, Weinstein RA, Young VB, and Hayden MK. Comparison of stool versus rectal swab samples and storage conditions on bacterial community profiles. BMC Microbiol 2017 17(1):78. PMID: 28359329.

Seekatz AM and Young VB. Infection: Modulation of Clostridium difficile infection by dietary zinc. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Dec;13(12): 686-688. Epub 2016 Nov 9. PMID: 27826138.

Desai MS, Seekatz AM, Koropatkin NM, Kamada N, Hickey CA, Wolter M, Pudlo NA, Kitamoto S, Terrapon N, Muller A, Young VB, Henrissat B, Wilmes P, Stappenbeck TS, Núñez G, and Martens EC. A dietary fiber-deprived gut microbiota degrades the colonic mucus barrier and enhances pathogen susceptibility. Cell 2016 Nov 17;167(5):1339-1353.e21. PMID: 27863247.

Seekatz AM, Rao K, Santhosh K, Young VB. Dynamics of the fecal microbiome in patients with recurrent and nonrecurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Genome Med. 2016 Apr 27;8(1):47. PMID: 27121861.

Nagao-Kitamoto H, Shreiner AB, Gillilland III MG, Kitamoto Sho, Ishii C, Hirayama A, Kuffa P, El-Zaatari M, Grasberger H, Seekatz AM, Higgins PDR, Young VB, Fukuda S, Kao JY, Kamada N. Functional Characterization of inflammatory bowel disease-associated gut dysbiosis in gnotobiotic mice. CMGH Cell Molec Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Mar 3;2(4):468-481. eCollection 2016. PMID: 27795980.

Seekatz AM, Theriot CM, Molloy CT, Wozniak KL, Bergin IL, Young VB. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Eliminates Clostridium difficile in a Murine Model of Relapsing Disease. Infect Immun. 2015 Oct;83(10):3838-46. Epub 2015 Jul 13. PMID: 26169276.

Theriot CM, Schumacher CA, Bassis CM, Seekatz AM, Young VB. Effects of tigecycline and vancomycin administration on established Clostridium difficile infection. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Mar;59(3):1596-604. Epub 2014 Dec 29. PMID: 25547352.

Seekatz AM, Young VB. Clostridium difficile and the microbiota. J Clin Invest. 2014 Oct;124(10):4182-9. Epub 2014 Jul 18 PMID: 25036699.

Seekatz AM, Aas J, Gessert CE, Rubin TA, Saman DM, Bakken JS, Young VB. Recovery of the gut microbiome following fecal microbiota transplantation. MBio. 2014 Jun 17;5(3):e00893-14. PMID: 24939885.

Eloe-Fadrosh EA, McArthur MA, Seekatz AM, Drabek EF, Rasko DA, Sztein MB, Fraser CM. Impact of oral typhoid vaccination on the human gut microbiota and correlations with Salmonella typhi-specific immunological responses. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 24;8(4):e62026. PMID: 23637957.

Seekatz AM, Panda A, Rasko DA, Toapanta FR, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, Khan AQ, Liu Z, Shipley ST, Detolla LJ, Sztein MB, Fraser CM. Differential response of the cynomolgus macaque gut microbiota to Shigella infection. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 5;8(6):e64212. PMID: 23755118.

Cole LE, Laird MH, Seekatz A, Santiago A, Jiang Z, Barry E, Shirey KA, Fitzgerald KA, Vogel SN. Phagosomal retention of Francisella tularensis results in TIRAP/Mal-independent TLR2 signaling. J Leukoc Biol. 2010 Feb;87(2):275-81. Epub 2009 Nov 4. PMID: 19889726.