Mackenzie Taylor Martin



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Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) is a foodborne, pathogenic bacterium that causes the illness listeriosis. The pathogenesis of L. monocytogenes can be impacted through the alteration of many different substances, pathways, and conditions. Varying nitric oxide levels have a well-documented impact on the spread of L. monocytogenes. Nitric oxide molecules are present in many cells and participate in diverse cellular functions, notably playing a significant role in the body’s immune response. Through the support of the Dean’s Summer Fellowship, students in Dr. Sun’s research lab investigated, summarized, and discussed current scientific literature related to the pathogenesis of L. monocytogenes. This presentation will detail the discussions related to the impact of nitric oxide on L. monocytogenes pathogenesis. Upon review of the literature, it is evident that the presence of nitric oxide results in enhanced L. monocytogenes infection. Nitric oxide production has been shown to be associated with enhanced bacterial infection of macrophages, protection against bactericidal mechanisms, and increased bacterial escape of L. monocytogenes. Furthermore, studies suggest that activation of the Nf-kB pathway, which is closely related to nitric oxide production, also enhances L. monocytogenes infection. An understanding of the impact of nitric oxide on L. monocytogenes infection has important clinical implications in developing therapies to mitigate infection as well as relevant research significance in the understanding of other complex pathways, such as the Nf-kB pathway.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Yvonne Y. Sun

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being; Life On Land

The Impact of Nitric Oxide on the Growth and Proliferation of Listeria monocytogenes