Areas of Specialization
- Acinetobacter baumanii
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Francisella tularensis
- Microbial Pathogenesis
Ph.D.; University of Texas at Austin
M.A.; University of Texas at Austin
B.A.; University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Guentzel's research expertise is in microbial pathogenesis and immunology. Initially, he worked with cholera (Vibrio cholerae) and was the first to show motility as a virulence factor for any bacterial pathogen and extensively characterized an animal model for studies of cholera pathogenesis and putative vaccines for cholera. He also studied pathogenesis of the major fungal pathogen Candida albicans and developed a new animal model for candidiasis.
His current research interests are on the STD agent Chlamydia trachomatis, the select agent Francisella tularensis, and the multi-drug resistant wound and nosocomial (hospital acquired) pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.
Current studies have focused on pathogenesis and putative vaccines for Chlamydia trachomatis, the world's leading cause of bacterial STD, which is often asymptomatic but if left untreated can induce ascending infection in the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and complications such as ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women, and infant pneumonia in children with serious respiratory sequelae later in life. The lab's studies on the select (bio-threat) agent Francisella tularensis have helped to define the virulence determinants of this pathogen and characterized the immune response and protection afforded by putative attenuated vaccine stains. Acinetobacter baumannii is a multi-drug resistant, important wound, nosocomial (hospital acquired), and pulmonary pathogen with a high mortality, which is being studied for mechanisms of colonization, pathogenesis, and control by targeting virulence factors.