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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address WP P230 Zip 7331
Phone  205-934-6421
Other websites

Undergraduate  Washington State University    1972  B. S. Bacteriology and Public Health 
Graduate  Montana State University    1980  M. S. Microbiology 
Graduate  UAB    1985  Ph. D in Microbiology 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pathology   Laboratory Medicine Professor
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Assistant Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations

Biographical Sketch 
William H. Benjamin, Jr. (b1950) is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Microbiology. Dr. Benjamin received his B.S. from Washington State University (1972), and after a tour of duty in a clinical laboratory for the US army he received his M.S. from Montana State University for work on the host parasite relationship of mice and hookworms (1980). He earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from UAB (1985) for studies of bacterial genetics. Outside of work he enjoys family, bicycling, gardening and raising rabbits.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Society for Microbiology 
Association for Molecular Pathology 
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 

Research/Clinical Interest
Molecular typing of Streptococcus pneumoniae, International Diagnostics for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, epidemiology and biology of Streptococcus agalactiae UTI
There are now several polysaccharide or polysaccharide protein conjugate vaccines approved and in widespread use. The clinical trials determining efficacy of these different preparations are large and expensive. The relatively low number of clinically severe infections seen in these trials makes in vitro tests that correlate with protection a very important goal. We have access to a large number of sera from multiple different vaccine trials and are developing improved ELISA and opsonophagocytosis assays which should correlate with clinical efficacy better than tests now used. I am also working on developing molecular tests to identify the capsular type of S. pneumoniae for use in vaccine evaluation. There are 90 serotypes of S. pneumoniae and because the polysaccharide vaccine contains 23 polysaccharides and conjugated vaccines have only 7 to 11 serotypes, it is important to determine the capsule types of strains that cause disease but more importantly those being carried by the vaccinated and control populations in studies. The current method of manual agglutination using sets of 90 antisera is extremely labor intensive which puts definite constraints on the number of isolates that can be typed from any individual as well as limiting the size of studies that are feasible. If a PCR based test for the various capsule genes can be used to accurately and efficiently serotype isolates or even the total types present in nasal washings. Recent research has shown that serotypes not in the vaccines used in the trials are replacing the vaccine serotypes, though it is not known if these classically less virulent serotypes will have increased virulence. My clinical interests include diagnostic Mycobacteriology, Parasitology and molecular diagnostics of infectious agents. I have become involved in working with nationals to develop and improve diagnostic capabilities for tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Haeili, M., C. Moore, C. J. Davis, J. B. Cochran, S. Shah, T. B. Shrestha, Y. Zhang, S. H. Bossmann, W. H. Benjamin, O. Kutsch, and F. Wolschendorf. 2014. Copper Complexation Screen Reveals Compounds with Potent Antibiotic Properties against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 58:3727-3736.
Tan C. K., K. B. Ulett, M. Steele, W. H. Benjamin, G. C. Ulett. 2012. Prognostic value of semi-quantitative bacteruria counts in the diagnosis of group B streptococcus urinary tract infection: A 4-year retrospective study in adult patients. BMC Infectious Diseases 12:273.  23101431 
Ipe, D. S., L. Sundac, W. H. Benjamin, Jr., K. H. Moore, and G. C. Ulett. 2013. Asymptomatic Bacteriuria: Prevalence Rates of Causal Microorganisms, Etiology of Infection in Different Patient Populations, and Recent Advances in Molecular Detection. FEMS Microbiol Lett 346:1-10  23808987 
Ulett K. B., J. H. Shuemaker, W. H. Benjamin, C. K. Tan, G. C. Ulett. 2012. Group B streptococcus cystitis presenting in a diabetic patient with a massive abdominopelvic abscess: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports.6:237-240  22883571 
Nahm, M. H., W. W. Chatham, and W. H. Benjamin, Jr. 2012 Device for Carrying Blood Samples at 37°C for Cryoglobulin Test Clinical and Vaccine Immunology 19:1555-1556  22815150 
Tan C. K., A. J. Carey, X. Cui, R. I. Webb, D. Ipe, M. Crowley, A. W. Cripps, W. H. Benjamin Jr., K.B. Ulett, Schembri MA, Ulett GC. 2012. Genome-wide mapping of cystitis due to Streptococcus agalactiae and Escherichia coli in mice identifies a unique bladder transcriptome that signifies pathogen-specific antimicrobial defense against urinary tract infection. Infect Immun.80(9):3145-60  22733575 
Yu, Jigui, Jisheng Lin, Kyung-Hyo Kim, William H. Benjamin, Jr., and Moon H. Nahm. 2011. Development of an Automated and Multiplexed Serotyping Assay for Streptococcus pneumoniae. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology:18:1900-1907  21900529 
Mirza, S., L. Wilson, W. H. Benjamin Jr, J. Novak, S. Barnes, S. K. Hollingshead, and D. E. Briles. 2011. Serine protease PrtA from Streptococcus pneumoniae plays a role in the killing of S. pneumoniae by apolactoferrin. Infection and Immunity:79:2440-2450  21422179 
Wolschendorf, F., A. Duverger, J. Jones, F. H. Wagner, J. Huff, W. H. Benjamin, M. S. Saag, M. Niederweis, and O. Kutsch (2010) Hit-and-run stimulation: a novel concept to reactivate latent HIV-1 infection without cytokine gene induction. J Virol 84:8712-20  20538859 
Ulett, G. C., R. I. Webb, K. B. Ulett, X. Cui, W. H. Benjamin, M. Crowley, and M. A. Schembri. 2010. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) urinary tract infection involves binding of GBS to bladder uroepithelium and potent but GBS-specific induction of interleukin 1alpha. J Infect Dis 201:866-70  20132033 
Ulett, K. B., W. H. Benjamin, Jr., F. Zhuo, M. Xiao, F. Kong, G. L. Gilbert, M. A. Schembri and G. C. Ulett (2009). "Diversity of group B streptococcus serotypes causing urinary tract infection in adults." J Clin Microbiol 47(7): 2055-60.  19439533 
Torii, I., S. Oka, M. Hotomi, W. H. Benjamin, Jr., T. Takai, J. F. Kearney, D. E. Briles, and H. Kubagawa. 2008. PIR-B-deficient mice are susceptible to Salmonella infection, J Immunol, vol. 181:4229-39  18768880 
Smythies, L. E., M. Sellers, R. H. Clements, M. Mosteller-Barnum, G. Meng, W. H. Benjamin, J. M. Orenstein, and P. D. Smith. 2005, Human intestinal macrophages display profound inflammatory anergy despite avid phagocytic and bacteriocidal activity. J Clin Invest 115:66-75  15630445  
Shaper, M., S. K. Hollingshead, W. H. Benjamin, Jr., and D. E. Briles. 2004, PspA protects Streptococcus pneumoniae from killing by apolactoferrin, and antibody to PspA enhances killing of Pneumococci by apolactoferrin. Infect Immun 72:5031-40  15321996 
Ginsburg, A. S., S. C. Woolwine, N. Hooper, W. H. Benjamin, Jr., W. R. Bishai, S. E. Dorman and T. R. Sterling (2003). "The Rapid Development of Fluoroquinolone Resistance in M. tuberculosis." N Engl J Med 349(20): 1977-1978  14614180 
Briles, D. E., S. K. Hollingshead, J. C. Paton, E. W. Ades, L. Novak, F. W. Van Ginkel, and W. H. Benjamin, Jr. 2003. Immunizations with Pneumococcal Surface Protein A and Pneumolysin Are Protective against Pneumonia in a Murine Model of Pulmonary Infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae. J Infect Dis. 188:339-48  12870114 
Haydel, S. E., J. E. Clark-Curtiss, N. E. Dunlap, and W. H. Benjamin, Jr. 2002. Expression, autoregulation and DNA binding properties of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis TrcR response regulator. J. Bacteriology 184:2192-2203.  11914351 

pneumococcus, bacterial pathogens, tuberculosis