Costi D. Sifri, MD

Costi D. Sifri, MD

null Costi  D.  Sifri
Degree(s): MD
Graduate School: University of Rochester
Primary Appointment: Professor, Medicine, Infectious Diseases and International Health
Research Interests:
Molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis, innate immunity, Caenorhabditis elegans, multi-drug resistance, molecular epidemiology
Email Address:

Research Description

Our laboratory has two major research themes. The first is the development and use of novel invertebrate model systems to identify and characterize genetic and molecular aspects of host-pathogen interactions for opportunistic human pathogens. These simple host-pathogen model systems allow for the simultaneous investigation of both microbial pathogenesis and host defense responses using whole genome approaches. Focusing on the model genetic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we have found that animals succumb to infection after being exposed to several clinically important Gram positive and Gram negative human pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus and Legionella pneumophila. We are using these simple host-pathogen models to explore fundamental questions regarding bacterial pathogenesis and innate immune response to infection.

The second major research topic focuses on understanding the molecular epidemiology of dissemination of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) in the hospital environment. We are particularly interested in patterns of MDRO transmission and the contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the spread of resistance. We are also interested in understanding the clinical consequences of MDRO infections and identifying effective methods to limit or curtail the spread of resistant organisms and determinants. This line of investigation is an extension of my work as the Hospital Epidemiologist for the University of Virginia Health System.

Selected Publications

Enfield KB, Sharapov U, Hall KK, Leiner J, Berg CL, Xia GL, Thompson ND, Ganova-Raeva L, Sifri CD.  Transmission of hepatitis B virus from an orthopedic surgeon with a high viral load. Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Jan;56(2):218-24. doi: 10.1093/cid/cis869. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Day SR, Sifri CD, Hoffman PS.  Infection of nonphagocytic host cells by legionella. Methods Mol Biol. 2013;954:463-78. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-161-5_28.

Brassinga AK, Sifri CD.  The Caenorhabditis elegans model of Legionella infection. Methods Mol Biol. 2013;954:439-61. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-161-5_27.

Gardenier JC, Sawyer RG, Sifri CD, Brayman K, Wispelway B, Bonatti H.  Peritonitis Caused by Haemophilus parainfluenzae, Leifsonia aquatica, and Gordonia spp. in a Patient Undergoing Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2012 Dec;13(6):409-12. doi: 10.1089/sur.2011.009.

Bonatti H, Barroso Ii LF, Sawyer RG, Kotton CN, Sifri CD.  Cryptosporidium enteritis in solid organ transplant recipients: multicenter retrospective evaluation of 10 cases reveals an association with elevated tacrolimus concentrations. Transpl Infect Dis. 2012 Dec;14(6):635-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3062.2012.00719.x. Epub 2012 Feb 19.

Mathers AJ, Hazen KC, Carroll J, Yeh AJ, Cox HL, Bonomo RA, Sifri CD.  First Clinical Cases of OXA-48 Producing Carbapenem Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in the United States: the "menace" arrives in the New World. J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Nov 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Day SR, Moore CM, Kundzins JR, Sifri CD.  Community-associated and healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus virulence toward Caenorhabditis elegans compared. Virulence. 2012 Oct 17;3(7). [Epub ahead of print]

Day SR, Sifri CD.  Intoxication vs. infection: A decade of studying Burkholderia pseudomallei virulence in a simple infection model. Virulence. 2012 Oct 1;3(6):471-3. doi: 10.4161/viru.22540. No abstract available.

Baker AW, Enfield K, Mehring B, Turner JC, Sifri CD.  Local influenza-like illness surveillance at a university health system during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Am J Infect Control. 2012 Sep;40(7):606-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.12.009. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Sifri CD, Ison MG.  Highly resistant bacteria and donor-derived infections: treading in uncharted territory. Transpl Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;14(3):223-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3062.2012.00752.x. No abstract available.

PubMed Listings for this Faculty Member

Contact Information

Office Address: PO Box 800473, 1224 Jefferson Park Avenue, Suite 7736

Lab Address: PO Box 801361, MR-4 Building, Room 2147

Office Phone: 434-243-0060

Fax Phone: 434-924-1225