Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Thornton, Justin

Committee Member

Seo, Keun Seok

Committee Member

Jordan, Heather

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences


Streptococcus pneumoniae is an asymptomatic colonizer of the upper respiratory tract as well as an opportunistic pathogen. Colonization is prerequisite to causing disease in a host, and it often involves formation of biofilms. There are currently two vaccines available against pneumococcus, both of which focus on preventing invasive disease by targeting the polysaccharide capsule of the most invasive serotypes. We hypothesized that by using membrane proteins expressed during the biofilm state, we can formulate an effective vaccine against colonization which would lead to an overall decrease in disease incidence. To do this, we selected protein candidates expressed during biofilm growth based on their ability to elicit an IgA response in human serum. Selected proteins (SP_0459, SP_1114, and SP_1702) were identified and used for further experiments. The proteins identified in this study will be paired with other immunogenic proteins to determine a successful vaccine formulation targeting colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae.