Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Jordan, Heather

Committee Member

King, Jonas G.

Committee Member

Goddard, Jerome

Committee Member

Thornton, Justin A.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 6 months

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences


Mycobacterium ulcerans is an acid-fast bacillus that is the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, a necrotizing skin disease. The transmission route for M. ulcerans is unknown, but many insects have been posited as part of the web, including Belostomatids, Naucorids, and Culicids. Aedes albopictus was selected for use in a set of experiments where the first-generation larvae were inoculated with M. ulcerans, and mosquitoes were reared throughout the third generation to interrogate presence and quantity of the bacteria. Using qPCR, second and third generations displayed positivity (22% and 5.6% respectively). 16S V4 sequencing was used to obtain microbiota for all life stages as well as environmental samples, and many relationships between generations, life stages, and treatments displayed statistical significance in alpha diversity, beta diversity, and relative abundance of microbiomes. This study opens multiple avenues of further investigation into the transmission web of Buruli ulcer.