Old Dominion University
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College of Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences




David Gauthier, Ph.D.

David202E Mills Godwin Building
Office: 757-683-3822
Email: dgauthie@odu.edu

Bio Background

Dr. Gauthier received a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William and Mary, in 2004.  He served as a Research Assistant Scientist at Virginia Institute of Marine Science until joining the Department of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University in 2008. 

Dr. Gauthier studies diseases of aquatic organisms, with an emphasis on mycobacteriosis in finfishes.  Mycobacterium spp. are important bacterial pathogens of wild and aquacultured fishes worldwide, and several important fish-pathogenic species also cause disease in humans.  Striped bass, which are of major commercial and recreational importance in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast, are heavily impacted by this disease.  Dr. Gauthier's research encompasses a variety of disciplines, including molecular diagnostics, histopathology, electron microscopy, cell biology, epidemiology, and ecology.  Current work in Dr. Gauthier's laboratory focuses on three major areas:

1) Etiology of Mycobacterium spp. affecting Chesapeake Bay fishes.  The array of Mycobacterium spp. that are associated with mycobacteriosis in Chesapeake Bay striped bass is considerably more complex than previously reported for wild fishes.  Isolates obtained from diseased striped bass are dominated by two novel species, M. pseudoshottsii and M. shottsii, however, M. marinum and a variety of almost exclusively slow-growing mycobacteria are also found.  Research is ongoing to characterize these new species and strains, make inferences about their evolution, and explore their pathogenicity.
2) Ecology of Mycobacterium spp. in Chesapeake Bay.  Mycobacteria affecting fishes are assumed to be "environmental" mycobacteria, so called because they can survive and replicate outside of their vertebrate hosts.  Very little is known, however, about the factors affecting the distribution or survival of these bacteria in the environment.  Several pathogenic mycobacteria of mammals, like the causative agents of tuberculosis and leprosy, only survive within their vertebrate hosts, and it is currently unknown whether any fish-pathogenic mycobacteria have also adapted this lifestyle.  Research in to these questions has the potential to answer major questions about the basic biology of these organisms.
3) Eco-epidemiology of mycobacteriosis in Chesapeake Bay striped bass.  One of the major questions regarding this disfiguring disease in striped bass is whether or not it kills fish, and what effects it is having on the population at large.  In collaboration with fisheries biologists and biostatisticians, I am currently using several methodologies to answer these questions, including tag-recapture studies and mathematical models. 

Research Lab

Dr. Gauthier's primary research lab (205 MGB) is outfitted for molecular biology and microbiology. Additional laboratories include a BSL2 isolation wetlab and the ODU Electron Microscopy Lab, with transmission and scanning electron microscopes.

Selected Publications

Gauthier, D.T., Helenthal, A.M., Rhodes, M.W., Vogelbein, W.K., Kator, H.I. 2011. Characterization of photochromogenic Mycobacterium spp. from Chesapeake Bay striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 95: 113-124.


Haupt, S., Tisdale, M., Vincendeau, M., Clements, M.A., Gauthier, D.T., Lance, R., Semmes, J., Turqueti-Neves, A., Noessner, E., Leib-Mösch, C., Greenwood, A.D. In press.Human endogenous retrovirus transcription profiles of the kidney and kidneyderived cell lines. Journal of General Virology.


Gauthier, D.T., Reece, K.S., Xiao, J., Rhodes, M.W., Kator, H.I., Latour, R.J., Bonzek, C.F., Hoenig, J.M., Vogelbein, W.K. 2010. Quantitative PCR assay for Mycobacterium pseudoshottsii and Mycobacterium shottsii and application to environmental samples and fishes from theChesapeake Bay. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76: 6171-6179.


Yang, E.C., Scott, J., West, J.A., Orlova, E., Gauthier, D.T., Kupper, F.C., Yoon, H.S., Karsten, U. 2010 (in press). New taxa of the Porphyridiophysceae (Rhodophyta): Timspurckia oligopyrenoides gen. et sp. nov. and Erythrolobus madagascarensis sp. nov. Phycologia 49: 604-616.


Ai, Y., Beskok, A., Gauthier, D.T., Joo, S.W., Qian, S. 2009. DC electrokinetic transport of cylindrical cells in straight microchannels. Biomicrofluidics 3: 44110-11016.

Gauthier, D.T., Rhodes, M.W. 2009. Mycobacteriosis in fishes: A review. Vet. J. 180: 33-47.


Gauthier, D.T., Latour, R.J., Heisey, D.M., Bonzek, C.F., Gartland, J., Burge, E.J., Vogelbein, W.K. 2008. Mycobacteriosis-associated mortality in wildstriped bass (Morone saxatilis) from Chesapeake Bay, USA. Ecol. Apps. 18: 1718-1727.


Gauthier, D.T., Vogelbein, W.K., Rhodes, M.W., Reece, K.S. 2008. Nested PCR assay for detection of Mycobacterium shottsii and Mycobacterium pseudoshottsii in striped bass (Morone saxatilis). J Aquat Anim Health 20: 192-201.

Johnston, L.D., Brown, G., Gauthier, D.T., Reece, K.S., Kator, H., Van Veld, P. 2008. Apolipoprotein A-1 from striped bass (Morone saxatilis) demonstrates antibacterial activity in vitro. Comp. Biochem. Physiol B 151: 167-175.


Ottinger, C.A., Brown, J.J., Densmore, C.L., Starliper, C.E., Blazer, V.S., Weyers, H.S., Beauchamp, K.A., Rhodes, M.W., Kator, H., Gauthier, D.T., Vogelbein, W.K. 2007. Mycobacterial infections in striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from Delaware Bay. J Aquat Anim Health 19: 99-108.


Ottinger, C.A., Blazer, V.S., Densmore, C.L., Gauthier, D.T., Kator, H., Panek, F.M., Rhodes, M.W., Vogelbein, W.K. 2005. Mycobacteriosis in Chesapeake Bay striped bass (Morone saxatilis). pp. 238 - 243 in Cipriano, R.C., Shchelkunov, I. S. and Faisal, M., eds. Health and Diseases of Aquatic Organisms: Bilateral Perspectives. Michigan State University Press. East Lansing, Michigan

Earnhart, C.G., Gauthier, D.T., Vogelbein, W.K., Kaattari, S.L. 2005. Monoclonal antibody analysis of Perkinsus marinus extracellular products. Int J Parasit 35: 171-184


Gauthier, D.T., Vogelbein, W.K., Ottinger, C.A. 2004. Ultrastructure of Mycobacterium marinum granuloma in striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Dis Aquat Org 62: 121-132


Rhodes, M.W., Kator, H., Kaattari, I., Gauthier, D.T., Vogelbein, W.K., Ottinger, C.A. 2004. Isolation and characterization of mycobacteria from striped bass, Morone saxatilis, from the Chesapeake Bay. Dis Aquat Org 61: 41-51


Mansfield, L.S., Gauthier, D.T. 2004. Lymphoglandular complexes are important colonic sites for IgA induction against Campylobacter jejuni in a swine disease model. Comp Med 54: 514-523


Burge, E.J., Gauthier, D.T., VanVeld, P.A. 2004. In vitro response of the striped bass natural resistance-associated macrophage protein, Nramp, to LPS and Mycobacterium marinum exposure. Comp Biochem Physiol Part C 138: 391-400


Burge, E.J., Gauthier, D.T., Ottinger, C.A., VanVeld, P.A. 2004. A Mycobacterium-inducible Nramp in striped bass Morone saxatilis. Infect Immun 72: 1626-1636


Gauthier, D.T., Rhodes, M.W., Vogelbein, W.K., Kator, H., and C.A. Ottinger. 2003. Experimental mycobacteriosis in striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Dis Aquat Org 54: 105-117


Gauthier, D.T., Cartwright, D.D., Densmore, C.L., Blazer, V.S., and C.A. Ottinger. 2003. Measurement of in vitro leucocyte mitogenesis in fish: ELISA based detection of the thymidine analogue 5?-bromo-2?-deoxyuridine. Fish Shellfish Immunol 14: 279-288


Mansfield, L.S., Gauthier, D.T., Abner, S.R., Jones, K.M., Wilder, S.R, and J.F. Urban. 2003. Trichuris suis and Campylobacter jejuni synergize in the colon of immunologically naïve swine to enhance disease and pathology. Am J Trop Med Hyg 68: 70-80


Gauthier, D.T., L.S. Mansfield. 1999. Western blot analysis for distinguishing vaccine and infection status with Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) in dogs. J Vet Diagn Invest 11: 259-265

Course Information

Fall: BIOL423/523, Cell and Molecular Biology
Fall: BIOL/MAE 483, Bio-micronanofluidics
Spring: BIOL712/812, Biological Microscopy
Spring: BIOL/MAE 496, Bio-microelectromechanical systems
Summer: BIOL507, Molecular and Immunological Techniques