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Carolyn Hovde Bohach

Carolyn Hovde Bohach

Director of Idaho NIH INBRE


Phone: (208) 596-1747
Office: Mines Building 317

Not currently accepting graduate student applications.

Research Interest

My laboratory works on the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), which include the infamous O157:H7 serotype. Ingestion of these pathogenic bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea and the life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome. Healthy cattle are a reservoir for these pathogens and contaminated foods of bovine origin are most often implicated in human disease.

Projects include basic research to understand the relationship between healthy cattle and this human pathogen and applied research to develop effective pre-harvest interventions. Both approaches are aimed to ultimately improve the safety of our food supply. Molecular and biochemical techniques are used to relate the bacterial virulence factors and other features to its ability to persist in the ruminant gastrointestinal tract and on the farm. Microbiological and molecular genetic techniques are used to identify pre-harvest management practices that may reduce the risk of EHEC-positive cattle from entering our food chain. Development of a vaccine to prevent cattle from carrying these human pathogens is also underway. In addition, we are investigating the possibility that E. coli O157:H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli play beneficial roles in ruminant animals. To this end, we have shown that Shiga toxin, an exotoxin produced by EHEC and other non-pathogenic E. coli, has antiviral activity against bovine leukemia virus.

Bacterial pathogenesis, food safety, E. coli O157:H7, cattle vaccine development, Yersinia pestis, enhancing biomedical research competitiveness.

Physical Mail

School of Food Science
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Dr
MS 2312
Moscow, Idaho 83844-2312