Louise D. Teel, Ph.D.

Louise D. Teel, Ph.D.

louise teel

Name: Louise D. Teel, Ph.D.

Department of Primary Appointment: Microbiology & Immunology
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Associate Professor, Ph.D.

Email: louise.teel@usuhs.edu (link sends e-mail)
Office Phone: (301) 295-3310

Department Website



Associate Professor, Course Director, Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Co-Director of the Multi-System and Complex Diseases Module of the Revised Medical Curriculum
Ph.D., Uniformed Services University, 2002

Research: The role of Shiga toxins (Stxs) in the pathogenesis of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC), the effects of the plant toxin ricin, and the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis

As a research associate of Dr. Alison O'Brien's, I study STEC and Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), a subset of STEC that includes E.coli serotype O157:H7. Five to 15% of diarrheal infections attributable to Shiga toxin-producing organisms result in the life-threatening complication known as the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Shiga toxins mediate the cytotoxicity, coagulopathy, and glomerular necrosis that result in kidney failure and death associated with HUS. We study the influence at the cellular level of Shiga toxin variants expressed by STEC in 2-dimensional tissue culture, 3-dimensional tissue organoids that are cultivated in conditions of low shear and reduced gravity, and in a mouse model. The mode of action of the plant-derived toxin ricin is the same as that of Stx; hence, we have broadened our studies to include animal models of ricin intoxication. The goal of our studies with Stx and ricin is to develop intervention strategies to rescue subjects intoxicated with either of these select agent toxins. We have employed in vivo imaging to track in real time intoxication in mice to better understand the steps in dissemination of toxins from the GI tract to target organs. Similarly, we have used in vivo imaging in mice to assess the steps in the pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain in mice. A bioluminescence reporter strain of B. anthracis was developed by Sanz, et al. with which we localized the site of germination B. anthracis in the lung tissue of intranasally infected A/J mice and followed the host phagocytic response during ongoing infection. In addition to these research interests, our lab is focused on improving diagnostic tests for and therapies against Stx, ricin and Bacillus anthracis.

Selected Publications:

Zheng J, C. Shenghui , L.D. Teel, Z. Shaohua, R. Singh, A.D. O'Brien and J. Meng, 2008. Identification and Characterization of Shiga Toxin Type 2 Variants in Escherichia coli Isolated from Animals, Food, and Humans. Applied Environmental Microbiology,74;5645-52.

Sanz, P., L.D. Teel, F. Alem, H.M. Carvalho, S.C. Darnell, and A.D. O'Brien. 2008. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spore germination in vivo by bioluminescence imaging. Infect Immun. 45:3377-80.

Teel L.D., J.A. Daly, R.C. Jerris, D. Maul, G. Svanas, A.D. O'Brien and C.H. Park .2007. Rapid detection of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli by Optical Immunoassay. J Clin Microbiol. 45: 3377-3380.

Smith, M.J., L.D. Teel, H.M. Carvalho, A.R. Melton-Celsa, and A.D. O'Brien. 2006. Development of a hybrid Shiga holotoxoid vaccine to elicit heterologous protection against Shiga toxins type 1 and 2. Vaccine. 2006 24:4122-9.

Wen, S.X., L.D. Teel, N.A. Judge, and A.D. O'Brien. 2006. A plant-based oral vaccine to protect against systemic Shiga toxin type 2 intoxication. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 103:7082-7087.

Wen, S.X., L.D. Teel, N.A. Judge and A.D. O'Brien. 2006. Genetic toxoids of Shiga toxin types 1 and 2 protect mice against homologous but not heterologous toxin challenge. Vaccine. 24:1142-1148.

Carvalho, H.M., L.D. Teel, G. Goping, and A.D. O'Brien. 2005. A three-dimensional organoid model for the study of intimin-attach and efface lesion formation by enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Cell. Microbiol. 7:1771-1781.

Carvalho, H.M., L.D. Teel, J.F. Kokai-Kun, and A.D. O'Brien. 2005. Antibody against the carboxyl-terminus of intimin-α reduces Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli adherence to tissue culture cells and subsequent induction of actin polymerization. Infect. Immun. 73: 2541-2546.

Teel, L.D., B.R. Steinberg, N.E. Aronson, and A.D. O'Brien. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli-associated kidney failure in a 40-year-old and late diagnosis by novel bacteriologic and toxin detection methods. 2003. J. Clin. Micro. 41: 3438-3440

Teel, L.D., A.R. Melton-Celsa, C.K. Schmitt, and A.D. O'Brien. 2002. One of the two copies of the gene for the activatable Shiga toxin type 2d (Stx2d) in Escherichia coli O91:H21 strain B2F1 is associated with an inducible bacteriophage. Infect. Immun. 70:4282-4291.

Teel, L.D., M. Finelli, and S. Johnson, Isolation of Mycoplasma species from Bronchoalveolar Lavage of HIV and Non-HIV patients, 1994, Journal of Clinical Microbiology 32:1387-89.

Teel, L.D., N. Shemonsky, N. Aronson, Group G streptococcal bacteremia in a healthy young man, Southern Medical Journal, 8:633-35, 1988.


Rowland S., S. Walsh, L. Teel, A. Carnahan, 1994, Laboratory Manual of Pathogenic and Clinical Microbiology, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD.

Book chapters

Teel L.D., A.R.Melton-Celsa, and A.D. O'Brien. 2011. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, in Population Genetics of Bacteria: A Tribute to Thomas Whittam. ASM Press, Washington, D.C

Melton-Celsa, A., K. Mohawk, L. Teel, and A. O'Brien. 2011. Pathogenesis of Shiga Toxin -producing E. coli, in Ricin and Shiga toxins: Pathogenesis, Immunity, Vaccines and Therapeutics, Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology Series, Springer, New York.

Vergis, J.M., C.L. Ventura, L.D. Teel, A.D. O'Brien. 2011. The Spore as an Infectious Agent: Anthrax Disease as a Paradigm, in Bacterial Spores: Current Research and Applications. Abel-Santos, E. (ed.), Horizon Scientific Press. Norfolk.