BS. 1987, Mendel Agricultural University, Brno, CZ
Ph.D. 1998, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CA
Postdoctoral: 1999-2002, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Fax: (785) 532-6232
Personal Webpage: http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~lzurek/
Research program in our laboratory is oriented in three main directions:
a) ecology of zoonotic and food-borne pathogens in agricultural, veterinary, and urban environments with special emphasis on antibiotic resistant strains
b) gastro-intestinal microbial ecology of insects with focus on the gut-microbial homeostasis, role of gut bacterial communities in development of innate epithelial immunity and vector capacity for human and animal parasites
c) development of novel microbially-based strategies for insect pest management
We are working primarily with enterococci and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. The main interests include the origins, reservoirs, and horizontal transfer of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria. We ask questions on how and why some innocuous environmental bacterial strains acquire specific traits that make them clinically important.
The gastro-intestinal tract of insects is an ideal habitat for large and diverse microbial communities. We are interested in sand flies - microbial interactions from perspectives of oviposition, larval development, innate immunity, and vector capacity for Leishmania parasites.
Development and survival of some insects, such as larvae of muscoid flies, strictly depends on an active microbial community in the natural habitat (e.g. animal and human feces and other decomposing organic substrates). We are interested in a better understanding of this insect - bacterial association with the overall goal to develop novel insect pest management strategies.
Khajuria C., L.L. Buschman, M.S. Chen, L. Zurek, and K.Y. Zhu (2011). Characterization of six antibacterial response genes from the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) larval gut and their expression in response to bacterial challenge. Journal of Insect Physiology 57:345-355.
Ahmad A., A. Ghosh, C. Schal, and L. Zurek (2011). Insects in confined swine operations carry a large antibiotic resistant and potentially virulent enterococcal community. BMC Microbiology 11:23.
KuKanich K.S., A. Ghosh, J.V. Skarbek, K. Lothamer, and L. Zurek (2011). Surveillance of bacterial contamination in small animal veterinary hospitals with focus on drug resistance and virulence traits of enterococci. JAVMA (in press).
Amachawadi R.A., Shelton N.W., Jacob M.E., Shi X., Narayanan S.K., Zurek L., Dritz S.S., Nelssen J.L., Tokach M.D. and Nagaraja T.G. (2010). Occurence of tcrB, a transferable copper resistance gene, in fecal enterococci of swine. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 7:1089-1097.
Channaiah LH, B. Subramanyam, and L. Zurek (2010). Stored product insects are carriers of antibiotic resistant and potentially virulent enterococci. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 74:464-471.
Channaiah, L.H., B. Subramanyam, and L. Zurek (2010). Survival of Enterococcus faecalis OG1RF:pCF10 in poultry and cattle feed: Vector competence of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Journal of Food Protection 73:568-573.
Macovei, L., A. Ghosh, V. Thomas, L. Hancock, S. Mahmood, and L. Zurek (2009). Enterococcus faecalis with the gelatinase phenotype regulated by the fsr-operon and with biofilmforming capacity are common in the agricultural environment. Environmental Microbiology 11:1540-1547.
Nagulalally, S.R., A. Ahmad, A. Henry, G.L. Marchin, L. Zurek, and A. Bhandari (2009). Occurrence of ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and vancomycin resistant bacteria in a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Water Environment Research 80: 82-90.
Anderson, J.F., T.D. Parrish, M. Akhtar, L. Zurek, and H. Hirt (2008). Antibiotic resistance of enterococci in American bison (Bison bison) from a nature preserve compared to that of enterococci in pastured cattle. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74: 1726-1730.
Larson, Z., B. Subramanyam, L. Zurek, and T. Herrman (2008). Diversity and antibiotic resistance of enterococci associated with stored-product insects collected form feed mills. Journal of Stored Product Research 44: 198-203.
Macovei, L., B. Miles, and L. Zurek (2008). The potential of house flies to contaminate ready-to-eat food with antibiotic resistant enterococci. Journal of Food Protection 71: 432-439.
Christen, J.M., J.F. Campbell, L. Zurek, D.I. Shapiroo-Ilan, E.E. Lewis, and S.B. Ramaswamy (2008). Role of symbiotic and non-symbiotic bacteria in carbon dioxide production from hosts infected with Steinernema riobrave. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 99: 35-42.
Macovei, L. and L. Zurek (2007). Influx of enterococci and associated antibiotic resistance and virulence genes from ready-to-eat food to the human digestive tract. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73: 6740-6747.
Mramba, F., A. Broce, and L. Zurek (2007). Vector competence of stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans L. (Diptera: Muscidae) for Enterobacter sakazakii. Journal of Vector Ecology 32: 134-139.
Ahmad, A., T.G. Nagaraja, and L. Zurek (2007). Transmission of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to cattle by house flies. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 80: 74-81.