Indira Kudva, PhD

Indira Kudva, PhD

phone: 515-337-7376


Research Microbiologist, Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research Unit, USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center


USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center
Bldg. 20, 1 North, Room #1121
1920 North Dayton Avenue
Ames, IA 50010



Postdoc, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2001
Postdoc, University of Idaho, 1998
PhD Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of Idaho, 1997
MS Medical Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India, 1987
BS Zoology, Stella Maris College, Chennai, India, 1984

Research interests: Host-pathogen interactions, Vaccines, Alternatives to vaccines, Alternatives to antibiotics

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are foodborne pathogens that can cause disease in humans ranging from diarrhea, bloody diarrhea or hemorrhagic colitis to the hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with kidney failure and death. Although several ruminants harbor STEC, cattle are considered to be the primary reservoirs for these bacteria, as most outbreaks have been linked, directly or indirectly, to bovine sources. STEC colonize the gastrointestinal tracts of cattle but the animals remain asymptomatic and disease-free. My current research is molded around the USDA mission to develop preharvest (before slaughter) strategies to control STEC in cattle in order to minimize ‘farm to fork’ contamination of food. Towards this end, I am using global (proteomics, metabolomics, microbiome analysis) and targeted (genetic, histological, cell and in vitro organ culture, animal study) technologies to analyze STEC colonization dynamics and identify key targets for therapeutic and diagnostic use. Projects in my laboratory address (i) STEC interactions with the bovine gastrointestinal cells especially those at the recto-anal junction (RAJ), (ii) STEC factors that promote its survival in the bovine rumen and persistence at the RAJ, (iii) Adherence mechanisms deployed by STEC in strain and host-dependent manner, (iv) Development of rational vaccines and vaccine-alternatives that target STEC in cattle, and (v) Development of diagnostic assays to study STEC adherence and to identify STEC-colonized cattle.