Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Thornton, Justin A.

Committee Member

Jordan, Heather

Committee Member

Seok Seo, Keun

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences


Streptococcus pneumoniae is typically an asymptomatic colonizer of the upper respiratory tract but can cause invasive disease in susceptible populations. Pneumococcal vaccines which are currently in use have failed to significantly reduce colonization by S. pneumoniae. To control invasive pneumococcal disease, novel strategies must be utilized. One such strategy is to reduce or eradicate colonization by pneumococcus. Supplementary vaccination with pneumococcal proteins important for colonization could serve to prime the immune system against these targets. This study serves as an initial step towards identification of crucial pneumococcal colonization proteins which may previously have been uncharacterized. Assessing the immune reactivity of human serum to isolated pneumococcal membrane proteins allowed for selection of proteins for analysis via mass spectrometry. Results of MS produced several potential protein targets for further research. Identification of these key surface proteins will pave the way for the creation of a more robust supplementary vaccine, and an improved understanding of the role of non-immunogenic pneumococcal surface proteins.