Johanna Elfenbein, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Department of Pathobiological Sciences
Office: Hanson 121

Johanna Elfenbein, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Titles and Education

  1. Assistant Professor of Bacteriology
  2. Affiliate Member, UW-Madison Food Research Institute
  3. PhD - Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (2014)
  4. Diplomate, Large Animal Internal Medicine - American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2011)

  5. Residency, Large Animal Internal Medicine - University of Florida (2008-2011)

  6. Internship, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery - University of Georgia (2007-2008)

  7. DVM - University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (2007)
  8. AB - Harvard University, Biochemical Sciences with citation of fluency in Italian (2003)


My lab is interested in the zoonotic pathogen Salmonella enterica. Salmonella is an important pathogen of large animals and is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne gastroenteritis in humans. Our studies aim to determine how Salmonella colonizes the intestine of susceptible hosts and how it is transmitted between individuals. Please see our website for more information.


Teaching: Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology (PATH-BIO517)

Clinical Interests

Infectious diseases of large animals

Graduate Training

Trainer - Microbiology Doctoral Training Program, Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Recent Publications

  1. Bobonis J, Mitosch K, Mateus A, Karcher N, Kritikos G, Selkrig J, Zietek M, Monzon V, Pfalz B, Garcia-Santamarina S, Galardini M, Sueki A, Kobayashi C, Stein F, Bateman A, Zeller G, Savitski MM, Elfenbein JR, Andrews-Polymenis HL, Typas A. Bacterial retrons encode phage-defending tripartite toxin-antitoxin systems. Nature. 2022 Jul 18. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05091-4. PMID: 35850148.
  2. Westerman TL, McClelland M, Elfenbein JR. YeiE regulates motility and gut colonization in Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium. mBio. 2021:e0368020. Epub 2021/06/09. doi: 10.1128/mBio.03680-20. PubMed PMID: 34098734.
  3. Westerman TL, Sheats MK, Elfenbein JR. Sulfate Import in Salmonella Typhimurium Impacts Bacterial Aggregation and the Respiratory Burst in Human Neutrophils. Infection and immunity. 2021;89(6):e00701-20. doi: 10.1128/iai.00701-20. PubMed PMID: 33820814. **Included in Articles of Significant Interest in this Issue. Infection and Immunity May 2021, 89 (6) e00208-21; DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00208-21
  4. Griewisch KF, Pierce JG, Elfenbein JR. Genetic determinants of Salmonella resistance to the biofilm inhibitory effects of a synthetic 4-oxazolidinone small molecule. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2020. Epub 2020/08/10. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01120-20. PubMed PMID: 32769186. 
  5. Bogomolnaya L, Tilvawala R, Elfenbein JR, Cirillo J, Andrews-Polymenis HL. Linearized siderophore products secreted via MacAB efflux pump protect Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium from oxidative stress. mBio. 2020 May; 11(3):e00528-20. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00528-20.
  6. Knodler LA and Elfenbein JR. Microbe of the Month: Salmonella enterica. Trends in Microbiology.
  7. Manship AJ, Blikslager AT, Elfenbein JR. Clinical comparison of Equine Coronavirus and enteric Salmonella infections. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2019 Jan 10 doi:10.1111/jvim.15386
  8. Durham ME and Elfenbein JR. Evaluation of vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization on the in vitro efficacy of meropenem-impregnated polymethyl methacrylate beads. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2019 Jan;80(1):45-50. doi10.2460.ajvr80.1.45.
  9. Westerman TL, Bogomolnaya L, Andrews-Polymenis HL, Sheats MK, Elfenbein JR. The Salmonella Type-3 Secretion System-1 and Flagellar Motility Influence the Neutrophil Respiratory Burst. PLoS One. 2018 Sep 11;13(9):e0203698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203698.

  10. Jaslow SL, Gibbs KD, Fricke WF, Wang L, Mammel MK, Thaden J, Fowler V, Hammer G, Elfenbein JR, Ko D. Salmonella activation of STAT3 signaling by SarA effector promotes intracellular replication and production of IL-10. Cell Reports. 2018;23(12):3525-3536. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.072.

  11. Elfenbein JR, Knodler LA, Schaeffer AR, Faber F, Bäumler AJ, Andrews-Polymenis HL. A Salmonella Regulator Modulates Intestinal Colonization and Use of Phosphonoacetic Acid. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2017;7(69). doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00069.

  12. Elfenbein JR, Knodler LA, Nakayasu ES, Ansong C, Brewer HM, Bogomolnaya L, Adams LG, McClelland M, Adkins JN, Andrews-Polymenis HL. Multicopy Single-Stranded DNA Directs Intestinal Colonization of Enteric Pathogens. PLoS Genetics. 2015 Sep;11(9):e1005472. PubMed PMID: 26367458.