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Dr. Neal Guentzel

Dr. Neal Guentzel



Research Profile


Research Interests

Bioremediation involves the use of microorganisms for removing toxic contaminants from the environment through metabolic activity. The process is amenable to decontamination of surface waters, groundwaters, and soils and provides a more cost effective, energy efficient, and permanent solution than other currently acceptable disposal technologies. We have produced a database accessible library of degradative organisms which were isolated from hundreds of samples supplied to us by oil companies, railroads, and the military from contaminated sites throughout the US. These microbes have been screened for metabolism of 15 priority pollutants and serve as a source for construction of degradative consortia of microbes for bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons through an ongoing sponsored research agreement with a major oil company. Our current efforts are focused on isolation and characterization of microbes for new bioaugmentation mixtures for use in cold climates (psychrophilic degraders), for hazardous contaminants (PCB’s, polynuclear aromatics, pesticides), and for unusual site-specific applications. We are also working with biosurfactants to enhance the efficacy of bioaugmentation products. In addition to bioremidiation, the laboratory also does health effects studies and investigations into virulence factors of the human pathogens Candida albicans and Vibrio cholerae.

Recent Publications

Murthy, A.K., Li, W., Guentzel, M.N., Seshu, J., Forsthuber, T.G., Zhong, G., Arulanandam, B.P. MHC Class I –restricted CD8+ T cells contribute to the development of chlamydial disease sequeale predominantly via non-INF-γ mediated mechanisms. Manuscript in Review, 2010.

Ray, H.J., Cong. Y., Murthy, A.K., Selby, D.M., Klose, K.E., Barker, J.R., Guentzel, M.N., Arulanandam, B.P. 2009. Oral live vaccine strain-induced protective immunity against pulmonary Francisella tularensis challenge is mediated by CD4+ T cells and antibodies, including immunoglobulin A. Clin & Vaccine Immunol 16:444-452.

Murthy, A.K., Guentzel, M.N., Zhong, G., Arulanandam, B.P. 2009. Chlamydial protease-like activity factor – insights into immunity and vaccine development. J. Reproductive Immunology. 83:179-184.

King, M.D., Guentzel, M.N., Arulanandam, B.P., Lupiani, B., Chambers, J.P. 2009. Proteolytic bacteria in the lower digestive tract of poultry may affect avian influenza virus pathogenecity. Poultry Science. 88:1388-1393.

Cong, Y., Yu, J.J., Guentzel, M.N., Berton, M.T., Seshu, J., Klose, K.E., Arulanandam, B.P. 2009. Vaccination with a defined Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida pathogenecity island mutant.(iglB) induces protective immunity against homotypic and heterotypic challenge. Vaccine 27:5554-5561.

Murthy, A.K., Chaganty, B., Li, W., Guentzel, M.N., Chambers, J.P., Seshu, J., Zhong, G., Arulanandam, B.P. 2009. A limited role for antibody in protective immunity induced by rCPAF and CpG vaccination against primary genital Chlamydia muridarum challenge. FEMS Immunol. Med. Microbiol. 55: 271-279.

Ketavarapu, J., Rodriguez A.R., Yu, J., Cong, Y., Murthy, A.K., Forsthuber, T.G., Guentzel, M.N., Klose, K.E., Berton, M.T., Arulanandam, B.P. 2008. Mast cells inhibit intramacrophage Francisella tularensis replication via contact and secreted products including IL-4. PNAS. 105:9313-9318.