Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Sean Fox

Committee Members

Michael Kruppa, Erik Petersen


Polymicrobial interactions are an important, yet understudied area of research. Candida albicans is the most common human fungal pathogen. The bacterial genus, Enterobacter, is a source of nosocomial acquired infections and increased drug resistance. Our lab has previously discovered that Enterobacter preferentially adheres to C. albicans hyphae. From an E. cloacae transposon library screen, six candidates displayed reduction in C. albicans attachment. These candidates were identified genetically and characterized for involvement in attachment to C. albicans. A fluorescent plasmid was introduced into E. cloacae to measure and observe adherence to C. albicans in planktonic and biofilm growth. In vivo experiments using Caenorhabditis elegans showed no significant differences in microbial burden or nematode survivability exposed to Candida and Enterobacter. Candida-Enterobacter co-infections were observed microscopically within C. elegans. This study highlights the complex dynamics of C. albicans-E. cloacae interactions, underscoring the importance of understanding polymicrobial relationships in research and clinical settings.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Monday, September 15, 2025