• Dr. W. Edward Swords received a B.S. in microbiology from Auburn University, followed by a M.S. from Mississippi State University. He completed his PhD studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996. After an ASM/NCID fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Swords carried out postdoctoral work with Dr. Michael Apicella at the University of Iowa, studying the bacterial opportunist nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. In 2002, he joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine where he established an independent research program addressing mechanisms of persistence of bacterial opportunists in otitis media and other airway infections. In 2016, Dr. Swords was recruited to join the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine, where he is currently a tenured Professor of Medicine. He also has appointments as a Senior Scientist in the Gregory Fleming James Center for Cystic Fibrosis Research, and a secondary appointment in the Department of Microbiology.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2023 Acute polymicrobial airway infections: analysis in cystic fibrosis miceMicrobiology.  169. 2023
    2023 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Promotes Persistence of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia via Increased Adherence to Depolarized Respiratory EpitheliumMicrobiology Spectrum.  11. 2023
    2022 Pneumococcal Phasevarions Control Multiple Virulence Traits, Including Vaccine Candidate ExpressionMicrobiology Spectrum.  10. 2022
    2022 Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Infection Impedes Pseudomonas aeruginosa Colonization and Persistence in Mouse Respiratory TractInfection and Immunity.  90. 2022
    2022 Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Redox Recycling of Protein Thiols Promotes Resistance to Oxidative Killing and Bacterial Survival in Biofilms in a Smoke-Related Infection ModelClinical and Vaccine Immunology.  7. 2022
    2022 Poly (acetyl, arginyl) glucosamine disrupts Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms and enhances bacterial clearance in a rat lung infection modelMicrobiology.  168. 2022
    2020 Comparative analysis of streptococcus pneumoniae type i restriction-modification loci: Variation in hsds gene target recognition domainsPathogens.  9:1-14. 2020
    2020 Contribution of Short Chain Fatty Acids to the Growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in RhinosinusitisFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.  10. 2020
    2020 Haemophilus influenzae persists in biofilm communities in a smoke-exposed ferret model of copdERJ Open Research.  6:1-12. 2020
    2020 Cooperativity between stenotrophomonas maltophilia and pseudomonas aeruginosa during polymicrobial airway infectionsInfection and Immunity.  88. 2020
    2020 The impact of Lactococcus lactis (probiotic nasal rinse) co-culture on growth of patient-derived strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosaInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology.  10:444-449. 2020
    2019 An Updated Conceptual Model on the Pathogenesis of Bacterial VaginosisJournal of Infectious Diseases.  220:1399-1405. 2019
    2019 A glycopolymer improves vascoelasticity and mucociliary transport of abnormal cystic fibrosis mucusJCI Insight.  4. 2019
    2018 Autoinducer 2 (AI-2) production by nontypeable haemophilus influenzae 86-028NP promotes expression of a predicted glycosyltransferase that is a determinant of biofilm maturation, prevention of dispersal, and persistence in vivoInfection and Immunity.  86. 2018
    2018 Hyperencapsulated mucoid pneumococcal isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis have increased biofilm density and persistence in vivoFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology.  76. 2018
    2018 Preclinical therapeutic efficacy of the ciprofloxacin-eluting sinus stent for Pseudomonas aeruginosa sinusitisInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology.  8:482-489. 2018
    2018 Erratum for Petruzzi et al., "Capsular Polysaccharide Interferes with Biofilm Formation by Pasteurella multocida Serogroup A"mBio.  9. 2018
    2018 Sinus microanatomy and microbiota in a rabbit model of rhinosinusitisFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.  7. 2018
    2017 A novel function for the Streptococcus pneumoniae aminopeptidase N: Inhibition of T cell effector function through regulation of TCR signalingFrontiers in Immunology.  8. 2017
    2017 Streptococcus pneumoniae TIGR4 phase-locked opacity variants differ in virulence phenotypesmSphere.  2. 2017
    2017 PD-L2 regulates B-1 cell antibody production against phosphorylcholine through an IL-5-dependent mechanismJournal of Immunology.  199:2020-2029. 2017
    2017 Haemophilus parainfluenzae strain ATCC 33392 forms biofilms in vitro and during experimental otitis media infectionsInfection and Immunity.  85. 2017
    2017 Panel 4: Report of the Microbiology Panel 2017
    2017 Panel 5: Immunology 2017
    2017 Pneumococcal neuraminidase A (NanA) promotes biofilm formation and synergizes with influenza A virus in nasal colonization and middle ear infectionInfection and Immunity.  85. 2017
    2017 Activation-dependent modulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae-mediated death in human lymphocytesFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology.  75. 2017
    2017 Resistance of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae biofilms is independent of biofilm sizeFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology.  75. 2017
    2015 Nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae causes otitis media during single-species infection and during polymicrobial infection with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzaeFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology.  73. 2015
    2015 Otopathogens detected in middle ear fluid obtained during tympanostomy tube insertion: Contrasting purulent and non-purulent effusionsPLoS One.  10. 2015
    2015 Host-to-host variation of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infectionsPhysical Biology.  12. 2015
    2015 Peroxiredoxin-glutaredoxin and catalase promote resistance of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae 86-028NP to oxidants and survival within neutrophil extracellular trapsInfection and Immunity.  83:239-246. 2015
    2014 Coinfection with streptococcus pneumoniae negatively modulates the size and composition of the ongoing influenza-specific CD8+ T cell responseJournal of Immunology.  193:5076-5087. 2014
    2014 Aging promotes b-1b cell responses to native, but not protein-conjugated, pneumococcal polysaccharides: Implications for vaccine protection in older adultsJournal of Infectious Diseases.  209:87-97. 2014
    2014 Influenza A virus alters pneumococcal nasal colonization and middle ear infection independently of phase variationInfection and Immunity.  82:4802-4812. 2014
    2014 Replication of type 5 adenovirus promotes middle ear infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae in the chinchilla model of otitis mediaFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology.  73. 2014
    2014 Residence of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis within polymicrobial biofilm promotes antibiotic resistance and bacterial persistence in vivoFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology.  70:280-288. 2014
    2013 Dual Pili Post-translational Modifications Synergize to Mediate Meningococcal Adherence to Platelet Activating Factor Receptor on Human Airway CellsPLoS Pathogens.  9. 2013
    2013 Panel 5: Microbiology and immunology panel 2013
    2012 Dual mechanism for Mycobacterium tuberculosis cytotoxicity on lung epithelial cellsCanadian Journal of Microbiology.  58:909-916. 2012
    2012 One third of middle ear effusions from children undergoing tympanostomy tube placement had multiple bacterial pathogensBMC Pediatrics.  12. 2012
    2012 Dps promotes survival of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in biofilm communities in vitro and resistance to clearance in vivo.Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.  2:58. 2012
    2012 Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae biofilms: role in chronic airway infections.Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.  2:97. 2012
    2012 Quorum signaling and sensing by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.  2:100. 2012
    2011 RbsB (NTHI-0632) mediates quorum signal uptake in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae strain 86-028NPMolecular Microbiology.  82:836-850. 2011
    2011 Direct evaluation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm mediators in a chronic infection modelInfection and Immunity.  79:3087-3095. 2011
    2011 Divergent mechanisms for passive pneumococcal resistance to β-Lactam antibiotics in the presence of Haemophilus influenzaeJournal of Infectious Diseases.  203:549-555. 2011
    2011 Nontypeable haemophilus influenzae initiates formation of neutrophil extracellular trapsInfection and Immunity.  79:431-438. 2011
    2010 Coinfection with Haemophilus influenzae promotes pneumococcal biofilm formation during experimental otitis media and impedes the progression of pneumococcal diseaseJournal of Infectious Diseases.  202:1068-1075. 2010
    2010 Interspecies bacterial communication as a target for therapy in otitis mediaExpert Review of Anti-infective Therapy.  8:1067-1070. 2010
    2010 Indirect pathogenicity of Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis in Polymicrobial Otitis media occurs via interspecies quorum signalingmBio.  1. 2010
    2010 The Pseudomonas aeruginosa exopolysaccharide Psl facilitates surface adherence and NF-κB activation in A549 cellsmBio.  1. 2010
    2009 LuxS promotes biofilm maturation and persistence of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in vivo via modulation of lipooligosaccharides on the bacterial surfaceInfection and Immunity.  77:4081-4091. 2009
    2009 Biofilm formation by group A Streptococcus: A role for the streptococcal regulator of virulence (Srv) and streptococcal cysteine protease (SpeB)Microbiology.  155:46-52. 2009
    2009 Survival of bacterial biofilms within neutrophil extracellular traps promotes nontypeable haemophilus influenzae persistence in the chinchilla model for otitis mediaJournal of Innate Immunity.  1:215-224. 2009
    2009 Streptococcus pneumoniae forms surface-attached communities in the middle ear of experimentally infected chinchillasJournal of Infectious Diseases.  199:786-794. 2009
    2008 Diminished ICAM-1 expression and impaired pulmonary clearance of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in a mouse model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysemaInfection and Immunity.  76:4959-4967. 2008
    2008 Lipooligosaccharides containing phosphorylcholine delay pulmonary clearance of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzaeInfection and Immunity.  76:2037-2043. 2008
    2007 Characterization and comparison of biofilm development by pathogenic and commensal isolates of Histophilus somniJournal of Bacteriology.  189:8179-8185. 2007
    2007 Phosphorylcholine expression by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae correlates with maturation of biofilm communities in vitro and in vivoJournal of Bacteriology.  189:8300-8307. 2007
    2007 Phosplioiylclioline decreases early inflammation and promotes the establishment of stable biofilm communities of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae strain 86-028NP in a chinchilla model of otitis mediaInfection and Immunity.  75:958-965. 2007
    2006 Biofilm growth increases phosphorylcholine content and decreases potency of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae endotoxinsInfection and Immunity.  74:1828-1836. 2006
    2006 Mycobacterium xenopi multiplies within human macrophages and enhances HIV replication in vitroMicrobial Pathogenesis.  40:41-47. 2006
    2004 Sialylation of Lipooligosaccharides Promotes Biofilm Formation by Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzaeInfection and Immunity.  72:106-113. 2004
    2003 Erratum: The lipooligosaccharides of Haemophilus influenzae: An interesting array of characters (Journal of Endotoxin Research (2003) vol. 9 (131-144))Innate Immunity.  9:336. 2003
    2003 Macrolide antibiotics, bacterial populations and inflammatory airway diseaseThe Netherlands journal of medicine.  61:242-248. 2003
    2003 The lipo-oligosaccharides of Haemophilus influenzae: An interesting array of charactersInnate Immunity.  9:131-144. 2003
    2003 The Haemophilus influenzae HMW1 adhesin is glycosylated in a process that requires HMW1C and phosphoglucomutase, an enzyme involved in lipooligosaccharide biosynthesisMolecular Microbiology.  48:737-751. 2003
    2003 Chemical transformation of E. coli.Methods in Molecular Biology.  235:49-53. 2003
    2003 Preparation of single-stranded DNA from phagemid vectors.Methods in Molecular Biology.  235:103-106. 2003
    2002 Susceptibility of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae to human β-defensins is influenced by lipooligosaccharide acylationInfection and Immunity.  70:5287-5289. 2002
    2002 Acylation of the lipooligosaccharide of Haemophilus influenzae and colonization: An htrB mutation diminishes the colonization of human airway epithelial cellsInfection and Immunity.  70:4661-4668. 2002
    2002 Demonstration of spread by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli in A549 epithelial cell monolayersFEMS Microbiology Letters.  212:145-149. 2002
    2002 Cloning, expression, and functional characterization of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis secA geneFEMS Microbiology Letters.  211:133-141. 2002
    2002 Cloning, expression, and functional characterization of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis secA gene.FEMS Microbiology Letters.  211:133-141. 2002
    2001 Binding of the non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae lipooligosaccharide to the PAF receptor initiates host cell signallingCellular Microbiology.  3:525-536. 2001
    2001 The mimicry of human glycolipids and glycosphingolipids by the lipooligosaccharides of pathogenic Neisseria and HaemophilusJournal of Autoimmunity.  16:257-262. 2001
    2000 Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae adhere to and invade human bronchial epithelial cells via an interaction of lipooligosaccharide with the PAF receptorMolecular Microbiology.  37:13-27. 2000
    1999 Involvement of matrix metalloproteinases in human immunodeficiency virus type 1-induced replication by clinical Mycobacterium avium isolatesJournal of Infectious Diseases.  180:1142-1152. 1999
    1999 Observed differences in virulence-associated phenotypes between a human clinical isolate and a veterinary isolate of Mycobacterium aviumInfection and Immunity.  67:4895-4901. 1999
    1997 Avirulence of LT2 strains of Salmonella typhimurium results from a defective rpoS geneInfection and Immunity.  65:2451-2453. 1997
    1997 Bacterial phenotypes mediated by mviA and their relationship to the mouse virulence of Salmonella typhimuriumMicrobial Pathogenesis.  22:353-362. 1997
    1996 Acid shock induction of RpoS is mediated by the mouse virulence gene mviA of Salmonella typhimuriumJournal of Bacteriology.  178:2572-2579. 1996
    1996 The predicted amino acid sequence of the Salmonella typhimurium virulence gene mviA+ strongly indicates that MviA is a regulator protein of a previously unknown S. typhimurium response regulator familyInfection and Immunity.  64:2365-2367. 1996
    1994 Mouse Virulence Gene A (mviA+) Is a Pleiotropic Regulator of Gene Expression in Salmonella typhimuriumAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences.  730:295-296. 1994
    1993 Postnatal changes in selected bacterial groups of the pig colonic microflora 1993


    Year Title Altmetric
    2015 Pneumococcal Biofilms and Bacterial Persistence During Otitis Media Infections.  293-308. 2015

    Investigator On

  • A Novel Proteolytic System of Pulmonary Inflammation  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Acquired CFTR Dysfunction in Alcohol-related Lung Pathology  awarded by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism/NIH/DHHS
  • Dysbiosis of the Sinus Microbiota in Chronic Rhinosinusitis  awarded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • Dysbiosis of the Sinus Microbiota in Chronic Rhinosinusitis  awarded by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation ^
  • Impact of Mucin Fermenting Microbes on The Virulence of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa in Chronic Rhinosinusitis  awarded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • Interactions Between Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Streptococcus Salivarius and Effects on the Host Immune Response  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Mechanism and Targeting of Inflammasome Activation in Lung Inflammation and Injury  awarded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • Microbial Interactions between Gardnerella, Prevotella, and Atopobium Prior to Incident Bacterial Vaginosis  awarded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • The Role of Airway Mucus in Infection and Inflammation  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • The Role of Mucin Degrading Anaerobes in the Pathogensis of Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Pseudomonas  awarded by TRIOLOGICAL SOCIETY
  • The Roles of LPS-Binding Protein Vascular Peroxidase-1 in Innate Immunity  awarded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH/DHHS
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 1996
  • Full Name

  • William Swords