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 gram negative bacterial pathogens Brucella and Escherichia coli.

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.  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. Recently we have developed the first mouse models of Brucella-induced arthritis.  We are using these murine models of arthritis to investigate molecular mechanisms by which complexes called inflammasomes induce both deleterious inflammation, and protective immunity against infection.  In addition to our work with Brucella-induced arthritis, we are also determining mechanisms by which Brucella is able to chronically infect the host.  We and others have found that Brucella can reside within B cells during chronic infection.  Thus, we are investigating whether the ability of Brucella to reside in B cells results in subversion of host immune responses.

Pathogenesis of Bacterial Meningitis.

Neonatal meningitis causing E. coli (NMEC), is a group of E. coli that is the most common cause of meningitis in premature neonates, and the second overall most common agent of neonatal meningitis. Mortality rates from neonatal meningitis range from 10-15% in the developed world to 40-58% in developing countries.  Beyond mortality, up to 50% of neonatal meningitis survivors suffer permanent neurological sequelae including deafness, seizures, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and/or cognitive deficits. My laboratory is currently investigating defects in neonatal immunity that enhance susceptibility to meningitis.  In addition, we are investigating immunomodulatory strategies as potential means to enhance resistance to meningitis.   


Selected Recent Publications:

  1. 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
  2. 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 (
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Skyberg, J.A. 2013.  Immunotherapy for Tularemia. Virulence. 4(8):859-870
  9. 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
  10. Skyberg, J.A. 2014. Immunopotentiation for Bacterial Biodefense.  Curr. Top. Med. Chem.  14(18): 2115-2126
  11. 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
  12. Keleher, L.L. and Skyberg, J.A*. 2016. Activation of Bovine Neutrophils by Brucella spp. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 177:1-6. *Corresponding Author
  13. 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
  14. Skyberg, J.A*. and Lacey, C.A. 2017. Hematopoietic MyD88 and IL-18 are Essential for IFN-γ-Dependent Restriction of type A Francisella tularensis infection. J. Leuk. Bio 102(6):1441-1450. *Corresponding Author
  15. Lacey, C.A., Mitchell, W.J., Dadelahi, A.S., and Skyberg, J.A*.  2018. Caspase-1 and Caspase-11 Mediate Pyroptosis, Inflammation, and Control of Brucella joint infection.  Infect. Immun. 86(9): e00361-18 *Corresponding Author


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