Louisa Tabatabai

Louisa Tabatabai


  • Vaccine and diagnostic development for animal diseases
  • Protein chemistry and proteomics
National Centers for Animal Health, 1920 Dayton Avenue Rm. 2-South Dept. of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011 Phone:  (515) 337-7338 Email:  lbt@iastate.edu


B.A., Chemistry, UC - Berkeley, 1964 Ph.D., Biochemistry, Iowa State University, 1976

Research Interests

Dr. Tabatabai's research interests are in protein chemistry, proteomics and structure/function relationships of bacterial proteins that play a role in pathogenesis of disease.  She is particularly interested in proteins, enzymes and virulence of the respiratory pathogens Pasteurella haemolytica and Haemophilus parasuiswhich cause respiratory disease in cattle and swine, respectively, and brucellosis caused by Brucella abortus a pathogen of cattle and wildlife as well as humans.  Although commercial vaccines are available for the respiratory diseases, these are not completely effective.  Dr. Tabatabai is especially interested in studies on protein structure to provide information on protein sequences responsible for the induction of protective humoral and cellular mediated immune responses. These studies include (1) determination of structural features and enzyme activities of native and recombinant proteins of Pasteurella, Haemophilus and Brucella identified as potential virulence factors; (2) investigation of the mechanism of iron acquisition by Pasteurella and Haemophilus; (3) identification and chemical synthesis of peptide epitopes and multiple antigen peptide vaccines (lipoMAPS); and (4) examination of the role of native and recombinant proteins and synthetic peptides in the immune response to experimental infection with disease-causing strains of Pasteurella haemolytica and Haemophilus parasuis.  Current research projects in her laboratory deal with the identification of the immunoglobulin binding proteins of Pasteurella haemolytica, iron transport proteins and transferring/lactoferrin and haem receptor progteins of Pasteurella and Haemophilus.  Other projects include studies on arginine decarboxylase of and elongation factor Tu of Haemophilus parasuis.

Selected Publications

1:  Tatum FM, Tabatabai LB, Briggs RE. Cross-protection against fowl cholera disease with the use of recombinant Pasteurella multocida FHAB2 peptides vaccine.  Avian Dis. 2012 Sep;56(3):589-91. PubMed PMID: 23050479. 2:  Zehr ES, Tabatabai LB, Bayles DO. Genomic and proteomic characterization of SuMu, a Mu-like bacteriophage infecting Haemophilus parasuis. BMC Genomics. 2012 Jul 23;13:331. PubMed PMID: 22823751; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3447690. 3:  Zehr ES, Lavrov DV, Tabatabai LB. Comparison of Haemophilus parasuis reference strains and field isolates by using random amplified polymorphic DNA and protein profiles. BMC Microbiol. 2012 Jun 15;12:108. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-12-108. PubMed PMID: 22703293; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3499290. 4:  Briggs RE, Tabatabai LB, Tatum FM. Mucosal and parenteral vaccination against pneumonic pasteurellosis in cattle with a modified-live in-frame lktA deletion mutant of Mannheimia haemolytica. Microb Pathog. 2012 May;52(5):302-9. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2012.02.008. Epub 2012 Mar 2. PubMed PMID: 22401911. 5:  Zehr ES, Tabatabai LB. Detection of a bacteriophage gene encoding a Mu-like portal protein in Haemophilus parasuis reference strains and field isolates by nested polymerase chain reaction. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2011 May;23(3):538-42. doi: 10.1177/1040638711404143. PubMed PMID: 21908286. 6:  Tabatabai LB, Zimmerli MK, Zehr ES, Briggs RE, Tatum FM. Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale North American field isolates express a hemolysin-like protein.  Avian Dis. 2010 Sep;54(3):994-1001. PubMed PMID: 20945779. 7:  Tatum FM, Tabatabai LB, Briggs RE. Protection against fowl cholera conferred by vaccination with recombinant Pasteurella multocida filamentous hemagglutinin peptides. Avian Dis. 2009 Jun;53(2):169-74. PubMed PMID: 19630220. 8:  Tatum FM, Tabatabai LB, Briggs RE. Sialic acid uptake is necessary for virulence of Pasteurella multocida in turkeys. Microb Pathog. 2009 Jun;46(6):337-44. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2009.04.003. Epub 2009 Apr 12. PubMed PMID: 19366625. 9:  Tabatabai LB, Zehr ES, Zimmerli MK, Nagaraja KV. Iron acquisition by Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale. Avian Dis. 2008 Sep;52(3):419-25. PubMed PMID: 18939629. 10:  Tabatabai LB. Identification of Pasteurella multocida CHAPS-soluble outer membrane proteins. Avian Dis. 2008 Mar;52(1):147-9. PubMed PMID: 18459313. 11:  McVicker JK, Tabatabai LB. Isolation and characterization of the P5 adhesin protein of Haemophilus parasuis serotype 5. Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2006;36(4):363-74. PubMed PMID: 16971306. 12:  Chen L, Collins XH, Tabatabai LB, White WS. Use of a 13C tracer to investigate lutein as a ligand for plasma transthyretin in humans. Lipids. 2005 Oct;40(10):1013-22. PubMed PMID: 16382573. 13:  Funk ND, Tabatabai LB, Elzer PH, Hagius SD, Martin BM, Hoffman LJ. Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of Brucella melitensis-specific antibodies in goat milk. J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Feb;43(2):721-5. PubMed PMID: 15695670; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC548038. 14:  Tabatabai LB, Zehr ES. Identification of five outer membrane-associated proteins among cross-protective factor proteins of Pasteurella multocida. Infect Immun. 2004 Feb;72(2):1195-8. PubMed PMID: 14742575; PubMed Central PMCID:  PMC321617. 15:  McVicker JK, Tabatabai LB. Isolation of immunogenic outer membrane proteins from Mannheimia haemolytica serotype 1 by use of selective extraction and immunoaffinity chromatography. Am J Vet Res. 2002 Dec;63(12):1634-40. PubMed PMID: 12492276. 16:  Swain JH, Tabatabai LB, Reddy MB. Histidine content of low-molecular-weight beef proteins influences nonheme iron bioavailability in Caco-2 cells. J Nutr. 2002 Feb;132(2):245-51. PubMed PMID: 11823585. 17:  Belzer CA, Tabatabai LB, Frank GH. Purification and characterization of the Pasteurella haemolytica 35 kilodalton periplasmic iron-regulated protein. Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2000 Nov;30(4):343-55. PubMed PMID: 11065279. 18:  Rivera JA, Sebranek JG, Rust RE, Tabatabai LB. Composition and protein fractions of different meat by-products used for petfood compared with mechanically separated chicken (MSC). Meat Sci. 2000 May;55(1):53-9. PubMed PMID: 22060904. 19:  Tabatabai LB, Frank GH. Conservation of expression and N-terminal sequences of the Pasteurella haemolytica 31-kilodalton and Pasteurella trehalosi 29-kilodalton periplasmic iron-regulated proteins. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1999 Jul;6(4):617-20. PubMed PMID: 10391874; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC95739. 20:  Tabatabai LB, Frank GH. Purification and characterization of a 31-kilodalton iron-regulated periplasmic protein from Pasteurella haemolytica A1. Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 1997 Nov;27(4):253-69. PubMed PMID: 9413558.