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Robert Mugabi

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Lab Projects: In general, my research focuses on understanding the molecular epidemiology, biofilm formation and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of Staphylococcus species on artisan cheese producing dairy farms in Vermont. Staphylococcus species are the common cause of mastitis in dairy cattle with enormous economic losses to the farmers. Over the years S. aureus (coagulase positive) was considered the most important pathogen in this genus. However recent findings indicate that the majority of other species (coagulase negative species) are becoming more important too. Although their role in bovine mastitis is still debatable, speciation, phenotyping and genotyping will give more insight on their role, host-pathogen interaction and therapeutic options to the farmers. The bacteria in this genus are not only of veterinary importance but also have a zoonotic potential. In this project, using molecular typing tools I will be able to elucidate the important sources of milk contamination. This will help farmers know the critical control points (CCPs).