SMB Faculty Profiles

Michael Konkel

Michael Konkel

Senior Associate Director

Lab Fax: 509-335-4159

Courses Taught

  • MBioS 410: Medical Microbiology
  • MBioS 499: Special Problems
Room: BLS 447
Office Phone: 509-335-5039 Lab Phone: 509-335-3522


Research & Interests

Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading bacterial causes of human gastrointestinal disease worldwide. In 2011, the incidence of culture-confirmed C. jejuni infection was 14.31 cases/100,000 persons in the United States, the greatest incidence since 2000. Additional intervention strategies and treatments are needed to reduce the incidence and burden of C. jejuni disease.

The Konkel research group focuses on the characterization of host-C. jejuni interactions. Biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and genomic/proteomic approaches are currently being used to understand the unique virulence factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of this facultative intracellular bacterium. We have one of the most comprehensive collection of C. jejuni strains in the world. One of our current aims is to identify and characterize cell binding and entry-promoting proteins used by C. jejuni to cause disease. To this extent, we have identified several novel virulence factors (please see our published manuscripts). Our model of C. jejuni binding and entry into host cells is shown below. We are extremely fortunate to work with some of the best scientists and research laboratories in the world.

Model of Mechanism
Figure: Campylobacter jejuni demonstrates specific binding to host epithelial cells. C. jejuni are stained red, host cell microfilaments are stained green, and cell nuclei are stained blue. Photograph courtesy of Nicholas Negretti and Michael E. Konkel.


Select Publications
  • O'Loughlin JL, Samuelson DR, Braundmeier-Fleming AG, White BA, Haldorson GJ, Stone JB, Lessmann JJ, Eucker TP, Konkel ME (2015) The Intestinal Microbiota Influences Campylobacter jejuni Colonization and Extraintestinal Dissemination in Mice. Appl Environ Microbiol. 81(14):4642-50. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00281-15 PMID: 25934624 PMCID: PMC4551207
  • Eucker TP, Samuelson DR, Hunzicker-Dunn M, Konkel ME. (2014) The focal complex of epithelial cells provides a signalling platform for interleukin-8 induction in response to bacterial pathogens. Cell Microbiol. 1441-55. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12305. Epub 2014 Jun 2. PMID: 24779413 PMCID:
  • Neal-McKinney JM, Samuelson DR, Eucker TP, Nissen MS, Crespo R, Konkel ME. (2014) Reducing Campylobacter jejuni colonization of poultry via vaccination. PLoS One 9(12):e114254. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114254. eCollection. PMID: 25474206 PMCID:
  • Larson, C.L., Samuelson, D.R., Eucker, T.P., O’Loughlin, J.L., and M.E. Konkel. (2013) The fibronectin-binding motif within FlpA facilitates Campylobacter jejuni adherence to host cell and activation of host cell signaling. Emerg. Microb. & Infect. 2, e65; doi:10.1038 <a href="">Link</a> PMID: PMCID:
  • Konkel ME, Samuelson DR, Eucker TP, Shelden EA, O'Loughlin JL. (2013) Invasion of epithelial cells by Campylobacter jejuni is independent of caveolae. Cell Commun Signal. 11:100. doi: 10.1186/1478-811X-11-100. PMID: 24144181 PMCID:
  • Samuelson DR, Eucker TP, Bell JA, Dybas L, Mansfield LS, Konkel ME. (2013) CiaD effector protein activates MAP kinase signaling pathways and is required for the development of disease. Cell Commun. Signal. 11(1):79. PMID: 24144181 PMCID:
  • Samuelson DR, Konkel ME. (2013) Serine phosphorylation of cortactin is required for maximal host cell invasion by Campylobacter jejuni. Cell Commun Signal. 11(1):82. PMID: 24188565 PMCID:
  • Neal-McKinney, J., and M.E. Konkel. (2012) The Campylobacter jejuni CiaC virulence protein is secreted from the flagellum and delivered to the cytosol of host cells. Front. Cell. Inf. Microbio. 2:1-15. PMID: 22919623 PMCID:
  • Neal-McKinney, J., Lu, X., Duong, T., Larson, C.L., Call, D.R., Shah, D.H., and M.E. Konkel. (2012) Production of organic acids by probiotic lactobacilli can be used to reduce pathogen load in poultry. PLoS One 7(9):e43928 PMID: 22962594 PMCID:
  • Lu, X., Weakley, A.T., Aston, D.E., Rasco, B.A., Wang, S., and M.E. Konkel. (2012) Examination of nanoparticle inactivation of Campylobacter jejuni biofilms using infrared and Raman spectroscopies. J. Appl. Microbiol. 113(4):952-63. PMID: 22734855 PMCID:
  • Konkel, M.E., Larson, C.L., and R.C. Flanagan. (2010) The food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni synthesizes a novel fibronectin-binding protein termed FlpA that facilitates adherence to human epithelial cells. J. Bacteriol. 192:68-76. PMID: 19880595 PMCID:
  • Flanagan, R.C., Neal-McKinney, J.M., Dhillon, A.S., Miller, W.G., and M.E. Konkel. (2009) Examination of Campylobacter jejuni putative adhesins leads to the identification of a new protein, designated FlpA, required for chicken colonization. Infection and Immunity. 77(6):2399-407. PMID: 19349427 PMCID:

List of Publications

Washington State University