Faculty and staff directory

Todd Kitten, Ph.D.

Todd Kitten, Ph.D.

Associate professor

Philips Institute for Oral Health Research
Wood Memorial Building
521 North 11th Street
Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566
Phone: (804) 628-7010
Fax: (804) 828-0150
Email: tkitten@vcu.edu


  • Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 1992
  • B.A. in Biology, University of Dallas, 1986

Research interests

  • Examination of oral bacteria using genetic, genomic, post-genomic and molecular biological approaches.  I am particularly interested in examining Streptococcus sanguinis, both in its ability to serve as a beneficial member of the normal oral flora and in its role in causing infective endocarditis, a serious cardiac infection.


Callahan JE, Munro CL, Kitten T. The streptococcus sanguinis competence regulon is not required for infective endocarditis virulence in a rabbit model. PLoS One. 2011;6:e26403
Kitten T, Turner LS, Xu P. Biological implications of the streptococcus sanguinis genome. In: Kolenbrander PE, ed. Oral microbial communities: Genomic inquiry and interspecies communication. Washington, D.C: ASM Press; 2011:43-61. 
Rodriguez AM, Callahan JE, Fawcett P, Ge X, Xu P, Kitten T. Physiological and molecular characterization of genetic competence in streptococcus sanguinis. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2011;26:99-116
Xu P, Ge XC, Chen L, Wang XJ, Dou YT, Xu JZ, Patel JR, Stone V, Trinh M, Evans K, Kitten T, Bonchev D, Buck GA. Genome-wide essential gene identification in streptococcus sanguinis. Sci Rep-Uk. 2011;1 
Das S, Kanamoto T, Ge X, Xu P, Unoki T, Munro CL, Kitten T. (2009) Contribution of lipoproteins and lipoprotein processing to endocarditis virulence in Streptococcus sanguinis. J. Bacteriol.: in press.

Ge X, Kitten T, Chen Z, Lee SP, Munro CL, Xu P. (2008) Identification of Streptococcus sanguinis genes required for biofilm formation and examination of their role in endocarditis virulence. Infect Immun 76:2551-2559.

Tang G, Kitten T, Munro CL, Wellman GC, Mintz KP. (2008) EmaA, a potential virulence determinant of Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans in infective endocarditis. Infect Immun 76:2316-2324.

Xu P, Alves JM, Kitten T, Power A, Chen Z, Manque P, Ge X, Serrano MG, Ozaki LS, Akan D, Hendricks S, Wang Y, Puiu D, Chaplin M, Paik S, Peterson DL, Macrina FL, Buck GA. (2007) Genome of the opportunistic pathogen Streptococcus sanguinis. J. Bacteriol. 189:3166-3175.

Paik S, Senty L, Das S, Noe JC, Munro CL, Kitten T. (2005) Identification of virulence determinants for endocarditis in Streptococcus sanguinis by signature-tagged mutagenesis. Infect Immun 73:6064-6074.

Das S, Noe JC, Paik S, Kitten T. (2005) An improved arbitrary primed PCR method for rapid characterization of transposon insertion sites. J Microbiol Methods 63: 89-94.