Department of Veterinary Pathobiology

Jerod A. Skyberg
Assistant Professor

  • Ph.D., North Dakota State University
  • Visiting Scientist, Iowa State University
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Montana State University

Building Address: 302 Connaway Hall
Phone Number: 573-882-2597

Research Emphasis: My research is focused on the host response to the zoonotic, intracellular, bacterial pathogens Brucella and Francisella.

Research Project #1 Immunity and Immunopathology of Brucellosis. 

Brucellosis remains one of the most common zoonotic infections world-wide with over 500,000 new human cases each year.  In addition, Brucella causes disease and abortion in many agriculturally important livestock resulting in wide-spread economic losses.  In humans, brucellosis can cause disease with relapses of undulating fever and lifelong complications, including arthritis, endocarditis, and possible neurological symptoms, despite antibiotic treatment. Osteoarticular complications are associated with prolonged illness in humans and are the most common localized manifestation of brucellosis occurring in up to 80% of cases. However, until recently the study of the immunology and pathology of focal complications of brucellosis has been hampered by the lack of relevant animal models.  Recently we have developed the first mouse models of Brucella-induced arthritis.  Our current work is focused on determining mechanisms of inflammation and protective host immunity during infection of the joint by Brucella.

Research Project #2.  Immunity and Immunotherapy of Tularemia.

Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium that causes the zoonotic infection tularemia. F. tularensis is one of the most virulent bacterial pathogens in the world, with an infectious dose of 10-50 microorganisms, and a lethality rate of 30-60% in untreated patients with pulmonary disease.  Currently, we are studying mechanisms by which F. tularensis is able to subvert host immunity to cause lethal infection.   We are also investigating pathways of protective immunity against F. tularensis that could be exploited via vaccination or other immunotherapeutics.

Selected Recent Publications:

Rynda-Apple, A., Huarte, E., Maddaloni, M., Gallis, G., Skyberg, J.A., and Pascual, D.W., 2011. Active Immunization Using a Single Dose Immunotherapeutic Abates Established EAE via IL-10 and Regulatory T cells. Eur. J. Immunol. 41(2):313-23

Skyberg, J.A., Trunkle, T., Rollins, M.F., Huarte, E., Jutila, M.A., and Pascual, D.W. 2011. Murine and Bovine γδ T cells Enhance Innate Immunity Against Brucella abortus Infection. PloS One. 6:7e21978

Skyberg, J.A., Robison, A., Golden, S., Rollins, M.F., Huarte, E., Callis, G., Jutila, M.A., and Pascual, D.W. 2011 Apple Polyphenols Require T cells to Ameliorate Dextan Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis and Dampen Proinflammatory Cytokine Expression J. Leuk. Bio 90(6):1043-1054.  Article highlighted in “Spotlight on Leading Edge Research,” picture featured on journal cover, and featured in a press release (

Clapp. B, Skyberg, J.A., Yang, X., Trunkle, T., Walters, N., and Pascual, D.W. 2011.  Protective Live Oral Brucellosis Vaccines Stimulate Th1 and Th17 Cell Responses. Infect. Immun. 79: 4165-4174

Huarte, E., Rynda-Apple, A., Riccardi, C., Skyberg, J.A., Golden, S., Rollins, M.F., Ramstead, A., Jackiw, L., Maddaloni, M. and Pascual, D.W. 2011.  Tolerogen Stimulates Innate Mouse Interferon Producing Killer Dendritic Cells For Protection Against EAE. J. Autoimmun. 37(4):328-41

Skyberg, J.A.*, Holderness, J.H., Rollins, M.F., Marlenee, N., Schepetkin, I., Goodyear, A., Dow, S.W., Jutila, M.A., and Pascual, D.W. 2012. Nasal Acai Polysaccharides Potentiate Innate Immunity to Confer Protection Against Pulmonary Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia pseudomallei Infections. PloS Pathogens 8(3) e1002587 *Corresponding Author

Skyberg, J.A., Thornburg, T., Kochetkova, I., Layton, W., Callis, G., Riccardi, C., Becker, T., Rollins, M.F., Golden, S., and Pascual, D.W. 2012. IFN-γ-deficient MiceDevelop IL-1-Dependent Cutaneous and Musculoskeletal Inflammation During Experimental Brucellosis. J. Leuk Bio. 92(2):375-87

Yang, X., Skyberg, J.A., Cao, L., Thornburg, T., Clapp, B., and Pascual, D.W. 2013.  Progress in Brucella vaccine development.  Front. Biol. 81:(1)60-77.

Skyberg, J.A. 2013.  Immunotherapy for Tularemia. Virulence. 4(8):859-870

Skyberg, J.A.*, Rollins, M.F., Samuel, J.W., Sutherland, M.D., Belisle, J.T., and Pascual, D.W. 2013. Interleukin-17 Protects Against the Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain, but not Against a Virulent F. tularensis Type A Strain. Infect. Immun. 81(9):3099-3105 *Corresponding Author

Skyberg, J.A. 2014. Immunopotentiation for Bacterial Biodefense.  Curr. Top. Med. Chem.  14(18): 2115-2126

Lacey, C.A., Keleher, L.L., Mitchell, W.J., Brown, C.R. and Skyberg, J.A*. 2016. CXCR2 Mediates Brucella-Induced Arthritis in Interferon-γ Deficient Mice. J. Infect. Dis. 214(1)151-160.  *Corresponding Author

Keleher, L.L. and Skyberg, J.A*. 2016. Activation of Bovine Neutrophils by Brucella spp. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 177:1-6. *Corresponding Author

Lacey, C.A., Mitchell, W.J., Brown, C.R. and Skyberg, J.A*. 2017. Temporal Role for MyD88 in a Model of Brucella-Induced Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Inflammation. Infect. Immun. 85(3) e00061.  *Corresponding Author

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