Faculty & Staff

Kevin B. Kiser, Lecturer

KiserPh.D., Molecular & Cellular Biology and Pathobiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 1996
B.A, Biology, Boston University, Boston, MA, 1990
Friday Hall 2015 | (910) 962-2698 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC, 28403-5915
kiserk@uncw.edu | http://people.uncw.edu/kiserk

Research interests:
Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen known to cause a range of skin, soft tissue and invasive infections. Staph infections have long been associated with healthcare environments because of the wide variety of compromised hosts and the potential chain of transmission via healthcare workers. Resistant forms of this pathogen, i.e. the “superbug” known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), have emerged in hospitals due to the extensive use of antibiotics and have made the treatment of healthcare-acquired (HA) staph infections more problematic. Of more recent concern is the emergence of MRSA infections outside of hospitals; what are known as community-acquired (CA) MRSA infections.

Our interests involve exploring MRSA carriage and its relationship to exposure and transmission. Approximately 30% of the population asymptomatically carries S. aureus in the anterior nares as determined with nasal swabs; however, only 1-3% carries MRSA. Recent evidence suggests that swabbing other body sites including the throat and perineum reveals carriers that may test negative via nasal swab. We plan to explore the most effective approaches to determining carrier state in test subjects to enhance the planned population studies.

Ideally, we will use the UNCW campus and its students as our laboratory to study the phenomenon of carriage. Since S. aureus carriage is a risk factor for transmission, we hope to study the risk factors associated with the development of the carrier state in nursing students, who eventually as nurses will be in contact with patients who are at risk of developing HA-MRSA infection if exposed. Additionally, we would like to examine the risk factors for student athletes to develop S. aureus carriage. Athletes are at risk of developing CA-MRSA infections due to their close contact with others, sharing of facilities and equipment, and potential for skin injuries. By assessing risk, recommendations can be made for procedures to control the acquisition and spread of MRSA in these populations and as a consequence control infection. Integral to these goals is increasing public awareness of this important public health issue.


Kiser K. 2011. Applying the Tools of the Microbiologist. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

Portoles M, Kiser KB, Bhasin N, Chan KHN, Lee JC. 2001. Staphylococcus aureus Cap5O has UDP-ManNAc dehydrogenase activity and is essential for capsule expression. Infection and Immunity. 69:917-923.

Pohlmann-Dietze P, Ulrich M, Kiser KB, Doring G, Lee JC, Fournier J-M, Botzenhart K, Wolz C. 2000. Adherence of Staphylococcus aureus to endothelial cells: Influence of the bacterial growth phase, the global regulator agr and capsular polysaccharide. Infection and Immunity. 68:4865-4871.

Schmidt MG, Kiser KB. 1999. SecA: The ubiquitous component of preprotein translocase in prokaryotes [Review]. Microbes & Infection. 1:993-1004.

Kiser KB, Cantey-Kiser JM, Lee JC. 1999. Development and characterization of a Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization model in mice. Infection and Immunity. 67:5001-5006.

Kiser KB, Bhasin N, Deng L, Lee JC. 1999. Staphylococcus aureus cap5P encodes a UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase with functional redundancy. Journal of Bacteriology. 181:4818-4824.

Kiser KB, Schmidt MG. 1999. Regulation of the Escherichia coli secA gene is mediated by two distinct RNA structural conformations. Current Microbiology. 38:113-121.

Kiser KB, Lee JC. 1998. Staphylococcus aureus cap5O and cap5P genes functionally complement mutations affecting enterobacterial common-antigen biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology. 180:403-406.

Kiser KB, Arnaud P, Schmidt MG. 1994. Rapid purification of native SecA from Escherichia coli: Development of a new affinity chromatography procedure. Current Microbiology. 29:323-329.

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