Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy


Burn injury represents a major medical problem with half a million cases requiring medical attention and 4,000 deaths reported annually. Sepsis and multiple organ failure remain the leading causes of death following injury, and may be brought on by bacterial infections or toxins. The gastrointestinal tract contains approx. 100 trillion microbes; therefore, the indigenous commensal microbiota may play a role in leading to these complications or infections in burn patients. The overall objective of this project is to identify a potential mechanism whereby changes in gut bacteria may lead to intestinal inflammation or bacterial translocation--key factors which may lead to sepsis. The hypothesis of this study is that burn injury reduces the expression of antimicrobial peptides in the gut, which allows for alterations of the microbiota and leads to increases of intestinal inflammation and permeability. Fixing the gut barrier with probiotic supplements may represent a novel approach to treating burn patients and preventing sepsis.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.