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UW-Madison Food Research Institute
Pictures of CWK Charles W. Kaspar

Core Executive Committee, Food Research Institute
Professor, Department of Bacteriology, UW-Madison

3554 Microbial Sciences Building
1550 Linden Drive
(608) 263-6936

Research Interests
E. coli O157:H7; Stress-response systems; Pre-harvest food safety; Molecular and physiological mechanisms of acid tolerance
Department Webpage
  • BS 1980, Biology, University of Nebraska–Omaha
  • MS 1983, Microbiology, Iowa State University
  • PhD 1986, Microbiology, Iowa State University
  • Postdoc, 1986–88, University of Maryland
Research Focus

A primary area of research in the Kaspar laboratory is E. coli O157:H7 and other Shiga-toxin producing E. coli. The aims of this research are to define the interactions of these pathogens with their bovine host, investigate environmental persistence and dissemination, and examine the emergence of new strains within populations by identifying variants with increased competitive fitness and characterizing the underlying changes in genomic architecture responsible for the formation of new strains. Results from these fundamental studies are used to develop pre-harvest intervention strategies.

Current Research Projects
  • Characterization of chitosan clearance of E. coli O157:H7 from cattle.
  • Desiccation tolerance in Salmonella.
  • Transmissibility of infections caused by intermittently shed pathogens capable of environmental persistence.
  • Modeling persistence of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in beef slaughter and validating interventions used in processing.
Program Affiliations
Outreach / Selected Recent Presentations
  • “Subtyping Methods for Foodborne Pathogens.” Food Research Institute Annual Meeting, May 21, 2014, Madison, WI. 
  • “Tracking STEC Evolution.” Food Research Institute Annual Meeting, May 22, 2013, Madison, WI. 
  • “Virulence and Prevalence of Non-O157 STEC.” Food Research Institute Annual Meeting, May 22, 2012, Madison, WI. 
  • “Desiccation Tolerance in Salmonella Serovars.” Food Research Institute Annual Meeting, May 17, 2011, Madison, WI. 
  • “Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC): Current Knowledge on Relative Virulence, Transmission, and Stability in Foods.” Food Research Institute Annual Meeting, May 18, 2010, Madison, WI. 
  • “Effect of sodium vs. other salts on microbial ecology / safety.” 2008. FRI Focus on Food Safety Series, Pyle Center, Madison, WI. 


Stanton E, Park D, Döpfer D, Ivanek R, Kaspar CW. 2014. Phylogenetic characterization of Escherichia coli O157 : H7 based on IS629 distribution and Shiga toxin genotype. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) 160(Pt 3):502-13
Jayaraman D, Valdés-López O, Kaspar CW, Ané JM. 2014. Response of Medicago truncatula seedlings to colonization by Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli O157:H7. PLoS ONE 9(2):e87970 (PMC3925098)
Park D, Stanton E, Ciezki K, Parrell D, Bozile M, Pike D, Forst SA, Jeong KC, Ivanek R, Döpfer D, Kaspar CW. 2013. Evolution of the Stx2-encoding prophage in persistent bovine Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79(5):1563-72 (PMC3591979)
Jeong KC, Hiki O, Kang MY, Park D, Kaspar CW. 2013. Prevalent and persistent Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains on farms are selected by bovine passage. Vet. Microbiol. 162(2-4):912-20
Mand TD, Döpfer D, Ingham B, Ané C, Kaspar CW. 2013. Growth and survival parameter estimates and relation to RpoS levels in serotype O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. J. Appl. Microbiol. 114(1):242-55
Stasic AJ, Lee Wong AC, Kaspar CW. 2012. Osmotic and desiccation tolerance in Escherichia coli O157:H7 requires rpoS (σ(38)). Curr. Microbiol. 65(6):660-5
Kulow MJ, Gonzales TK, Pertzborn KM, Dahm J, Miller BA, Park D, Gautam R, Kaspar CW, Ivanek R, Döpfer D. 2012. Differences in colonization and shedding patterns after oral challenge of cattle with three Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78(22):8045-55 (PMC3485966)
Pratt ZL, Chen B, Czuprynski CJ, Wong AC, Kaspar CW. 2012. Characterization of osmotically induced filaments of Salmonella enterica. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78(18):6704-13 (PMC3426695)
Glass KA, Kaspar CW, Sindelar JJ, Milkowski AL, Lotz BM, Kang J, Faith NG, Enache E, Kataoka AI, Henry C. 2012. Validation of pepperoni process for control of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. J. Food Prot. 75(5):838-46
Stackhouse RR, Faith NG, Kaspar CW, Czuprynski CJ, Wong AC. 2012. Survival and virulence of Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis filaments induced by reduced water activity. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78(7):2213-20 (PMC3302626)
Anklam KS, Kanankege KS, Gonzales TK, Kaspar CW, Döpfer D. 2012. Rapid and reliable detection of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli by real-time multiplex PCR. J. Food Prot. 75(4):643-50
Bani-Yaghoub M, Gautam R, Döpfer D, Kaspar CW, Ivanek R. 2012. Effectiveness of environmental decontamination as an infection control measure. Epidemiol. Infect. 140(3):542-53
Gonzales TK, Kulow M, Park DJ, Kaspar CW, Anklam KS, Pertzborn KM, Kerrish KD, Ivanek R, Döpfer D. 2011. A high-throughput open-array qPCR gene panel to identify, virulotype, and subtype O157 and non-O157 enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Mol. Cell. Probes 25(5-6):222-30
Jeong KC, Kang MY, Kang J, Baumler DJ, Kaspar CW. 2011. Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 shedding in cattle by addition of chitosan microparticles to feed. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(8):2611-6 (PMC3126356)
Baumler DJ, Hung KF, Jeong KC, Kaspar CW. 2008. Molybdate treatment and sulfate starvation decrease ATP and DNA levels in Ferroplasma acidarmanu. Archaea 2(3):205-9 (PMC2685594)
Jeong KC, Hung KF, Baumler DJ, Byrd JJ, Kaspar CW. 2008. Acid stress damage of DNA is prevented by Dps binding in Escherichia coli O157:H7. BMC Microbiol. 8:181 (PMC2588596)
Jeong KC, Kang MY, Heimke C, Shere JA, Erol I, Kaspar CW. 2007. Isolation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from the gall bladder of inoculated and naturally-infected cattle. Vet. Microbiol. 119(2-4):339-45
Erol I, Jeong KC, Baumler DJ, Vykhodets B, Choi SH, Kaspar CW. 2006. H-NS controls metabolism and stress tolerance in Escherichia coli O157:H7 that influence mouse passage. BMC Microbiol. 6:72 (PMC1560139)
Baumler DJ, Hung KF, Bose JL, Vykhodets BM, Cheng CM, Jeong KC, Kaspar CW. 2006. Enhancement of acid tolerance in Zymomonas mobilis by a proton-buffering peptide. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. 134(1):15-26
Hung KF, Byrd JJ, Bose JL, Kaspar CW. 2006. Reduction of acid tolerance by tetracycline in Escherichia coli expressing tetA(C) is reversed by cations. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72(6):4472-4 (PMC1489608)
Jeong KC, Baumler DJ, Kaspar CW. 2006. dps expression in Escherichia coli O157:H7 requires an extended -10 region and is affected by the cAMP receptor protein. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1759(1-2):51-9
Hudock JF, Borger AC, Kaspar CW. 2005. Temperature-dependent genome degradation in the coccoid form of Campylobacter jejuni. Curr. Microbiol. 50(2):110-3
Byrne CM, Erol I, Call JE, Kaspar CW, Buege DR, Hiemke CJ, Fedorka-Cray PJ, Benson AK, Wallace FM, Luchansky JB. 2003. Characterization of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from downer and healthy dairy cattle in the upper Midwest region of the United States. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69(8):4683-8 (PMC169068)
Shere JA, Kaspar CW, Bartlett KJ, Linden SE, Norell B, Francey S, Schaefer DM. 2002. Shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dairy cattle housed in a confined environment following waterborne inoculation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68(4):1947-54 (PMC123869)
Calicioglu M, Kaspar CW, Buege DR, Luchansky JB. 2002. Effectiveness of spraying with tween 20 and lactic acid in decontaminating inoculated Escherichia coli O157:H7 and indigenous Escherichia coli biotype I on beef. J. Food Prot. 65(1):26-32
Choi SH, Baumler DJ, Kaspar CW. 2000. Contribution of dps to acid stress tolerance and oxidative stress tolerance in Escherichia coli O157:H7. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66(9):3911-6 (PMC92238)
Price SB, Cheng CM, Kaspar CW, Wright JC, DeGraves FJ, Penfound TA, Castanie-Cornet MP, Foster JW. 2000. Role of rpoS in acid resistance and fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66(2):632-7 (PMC91873)
Ansay SE, Darling KA, Kaspar CW. 1999. Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground-beef patties during storage at 2, -2, 15 and then -2 degrees C, and -20 degrees C. J. Food Prot. 62(11):1243-7
Byrd JJ, Cheville AM, Bose JL, Kaspar CW. 1999. Lethality of a heat- and phosphate-catalyzed glucose by-product to Escherichia coli O157:H7 and partial protection conferred by the rpoS regulon. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65(6):2396-401 (PMC91354)
Roering AM, Luchansky JB, Ihnot AM, Ansay SE, Kaspar CW, Ingham SC. 1999. Comparative survival of Salmonella typhimurium DT 104, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in preservative-free apple cider and simulated gastric fluid. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 46(3):263-9
Faith NG, Wierzba RK, Ihnot AM, Roering AM, Lorang TD, Kaspar CW, Luchansky JB. 1998. Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in full- and reduced-fat pepperoni after manufacture of sticks, storage of slices at 4 degrees C or 21 degrees C under air and vacuum, and baking of slices on frozen pizza at 135, 191 and 246 degrees C. J. Food Prot. 61(4):383-9
Faith NG, Parniere N, Larson T, Lorang TD, Kaspar CW, Luchansky JB. 1998. Viability of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in salami following conditioning of batter, fermentation and drying of sticks, and storage of slices. J. Food Prot. 61(4):377-82
Shere JA, Bartlett KJ, Kaspar CW. 1998. Longitudinal study of Escherichia coli O157:H7 dissemination on four dairy farms in Wisconsin. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64(4):1390-9 (PMC106160)
Gouveia S, Proctor ME, Lee MS, Luchansky JB, Kaspar CW. 1998. Genomic comparisons and Shiga toxin production among Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates from a day care center outbreak and sporadic cases in southeastern Wisconsin. J. Clin. Microbiol. 36(3):727-33 (PMC104616)
Ansay SE, Kaspar CW. 1997. Survey of retail cheeses, dairy processing environments and raw milk for Escherichia coli O157:H7. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 25(2):131-4
Parveen S, Murphree RL, Edmiston L, Kaspar CW, Portier KM, Tamplin ML. 1997. Association of multiple-antibiotic-resistance profiles with point and nonpoint sources of Escherichia coli in Apalachicola Bay. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63(7):2607-12 (PMC168557)
Buchrieser C, Brosch R, Buchrieser O, Kristl A, Luchansky JB, Kaspar CW. 1997. Genomic analyses of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 strains from Austria and phage type 8 strains from the United States. Zentralbl. Bakteriol. 285(3):379-88
Tamplin ML, Jackson JK, Buchrieser C, Murphree RL, Portier KM, Gangar V, Miller LG, Kaspar CW. 1996. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and ribotype profiles of clinical and environmental Vibrio vulnificus isolates. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62(10):3572-80 (PMC168162)
Cheville AM, Arnold KW, Buchrieser C, Cheng CM, Kaspar CW. 1996. rpoS regulation of acid, heat, and salt tolerance in Escherichia coli O157:H7. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62(5):1822-4 (PMC167958)
Faith NG, Shere JA, Brosch R, Arnold KW, Ansay SE, Lee MS, Luchansky JB, Kaspar CW. 1996. Prevalence and clonal nature of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on dairy farms in Wisconsin. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62(5):1519-25 (PMC167927)
Lee MS, Kaspar CW, Brosch R, Shere J, Luchansky JB. 1996. Genomic analysis using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of Escherichia coli O157: H7 isolated from dairy calves during the United State National Dairy Heifer Evaluation Project (1992-1992). Vet. Microbiol. 48(3-4):223-30
Proctor ME, Brosch R, Mellen JW, Garrett LA, Kaspar CW, Luchansky JB. 1995. Use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to link sporadic cases of invasive listeriosis with recalled chocolate milk. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61(8):3177-9 (PMC167594)
Arnold KW, Kaspar CW. 1995. Starvation- and stationary-phase-induced acid tolerance in Escherichia coli O157:H7. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61(5):2037-9 (PMC167472)
Buchrieser C, Gangar VV, Murphree RL, Tamplin ML, Kaspar CW. 1995. Multiple Vibrio vulnificus strains in oysters as demonstrated by clamped homogeneous electric field gel electrophoresis. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61(3):1163-8 (PMC167372)
Buchrieser C, Weagant SD, Kaspar CW. 1994. Molecular characterization of Yersinia enterocolitica by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and hybridization of DNA fragments to ail and pYV probes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60(12):4371-9 (PMC201995)
Buchrieser C, Buchrieser O, Kristl A, Kaspar CW. 1994. Clamped homogenous electric fields (CHEF) gel-electrophoresis of DNA restriction fragments for comparing genomic variations among strains of yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia spp. Zentralbl. Bakteriol. 281(4):457-70
Degnan AJ, Kaspar CW, Otwell WS, Tamplin ML, Luchansky JB. 1994. Evaluation of lactic acid bacterium fermentation products and food-grade chemicals to control Listeria monocytogenes in blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) meat. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60(9):3198-203 (PMC201789)
Buchrieser C, Kaspar CW. 1993. An improved direct viable count for the enumeration of bacteria in milk. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 20(4):227-37
Harsono KD, Kaspar CW, Luchansky JB. 1993. Comparison and genomic sizing of Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 59(9):3141-4 (PMC182421)
Kaspar CW, Tamplin ML. 1993. Effects of temperature and salinity on the survival of Vibrio vulnificus in seawater and shellfish. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 59(8):2425-9 (PMC182301)
Tamplin ML, Martin AL, Ruple AD, Cook DW, Kaspar CW. 1991. Enzyme immunoassay for identification of Vibrio vulnificus in seawater, sediment, and oysters. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 57(4):1235-40 (PMC182874)
Kaspar CW, Burgess JL, Knight IT, Colwell RR. 1990. Antibiotic resistance indexing of Escherichia coli to identify sources of fecal contamination in water. Can. J. Microbiol. 36(12):891-4
Knight IT, Shults S, Kaspar CW, Colwell RR. 1990. Direct detection of Salmonella spp. in estuaries by using a DNA probe. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 56(4):1059-66 (PMC184343)
Holt SM, Hartman PA, Kaspar CW. 1989. Enzyme-capture assay for rapid detection of Escherichia coli in oysters. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 55(1):229-32 (PMC184083)
Kaspar CW, Hartman PA. 1987. Production and specificity of monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies to Escherichia coli. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 63(4):335-41
Kaspar CW, Hartman PA, Benson AK. 1987. Coagglutination and enzyme capture tests for detection of Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase, beta-glucuronidase, and glutamate decarboxylase. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 53(5):1073-7 (PMC203812)