U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. About FDA
  3. FDA Organization
  4. Office of the Commissioner
  5. Office of the Chief Scientist
  6. National Center for Toxicological Research
  7. Science & Research (NCTR)
  8. Kidon Sung
  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Kidon Sung Ph.D.

Staff Fellow — Division of Microbiology

Kidon Sung
Kidon Sung, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7121

Back to NCTR Principal Investigator page

 About  |  Publications 


Dr. Kidon Sung graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in food science and technology from the Kangwon National University, South Korea. Dr. Sung then earned his Ph.D. in food safety from the University of Georgia in 2002. He studied a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay to detect viable Campylobacter jejuni, one of major foodborne pathogens during his time in graduate school. Dr. Sung joined the Division of Microbiology at NCTR as a postdoctoral research fellow and has worked as a staff fellow in the same division since 2006. Dr. Sung is a recipient of the “Ambassadorial Scholar of International Rotary Club” in 1998, the “Developing Scientist Award” from the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) in 2002, the FDA “Group Recognition Award” in 2007, and the FDA “Excellence in Laboratory Science Group Award” in 2009 and 2015.

Research Interests

Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the most frequent causes of nosocomial infections, as well as infections on indwelling medical devices, which characteristically involve biofilms. Biofilm is protected from host immune defenses, antibiotic therapies, and biocides and can be up to 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic cells. Binding of antibiotics to the slime and poor penetration of antibiotics into the biofilm are considered as mechanisms of biofilm-associated antibiotic resistance. Formation of biofilms and the high frequency of multi-drug resistant strains render medical device-related infections caused by these pathogens a serious public-health problem and removal of the infected medical devices is necessary. Current prophylactic strategies use a constant flow of a sub-inhibitory concentration of antibiotic or biomaterials coated with antimicrobials. Significant concerns associated with antimicrobial-coated medical devices were raised because of the development of antimicrobial resistance, a short duration of efficacy, and a narrow spectrum of pathogenic bacteria.

Dr. Sung’s interest is to identify an antimicrobial-resistance marker by using integrated transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa following consistent bacterial exposure to the antimicrobial medical devices in a biofilm reactor. The data obtained from this study would be helpful for FDA to:

  • design management practices for pathogen control in antimicrobial-coated medical devices
  • develop a risk assessment model of pathogen growth in antimicrobial-coated materials
  • understand the role of different genes and proteins responsible for survival of pathogen in antimicrobial-coated materials.

It would also allow scientists to get an insight into molecular mechanisms associated with the development of antimicrobial resistance and virulence that would potentially lead to improvements in extending the efficacy of current antimicrobials to control pathogens, and to help FDA make science-based regulatory guidance on preventing and managing antimicrobial resistance in nosocomial infections.

Dr. Sung is also interested in:

  • developing rapid methods for detecting antibiotic-resistant genes
  • molecular characterization of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens
  • developing selective media to isolate foodborne pathogens
  • interaction between pathogenic bacteria and human cells
  • risk assessment of B. anthracis in food matrices
  • food safety
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • bioterrorism.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
2003 – Present

International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
2001 – Present

Listeria Technical Steering Committee, FDA
2013 – 2015


Selected Publications

Prevalence, Toxin Gene Profile, Antibiotic Resistance, and Molecular Characterization of Clostridium Perfringens from Diarrheic and Non-Diarrheic Dogs in Korea.
Chon J., Seo K., Bae D., Park H., Park J., Khan S., and Sung K.
J Vet Sci. 2018, 19(3):368-374.

Genotypic Characterization of ESBL-Producing E. coli from Imported Meat in South Korea.
Kim Y., Moon J., Oh D., Chon J., Song B., Lim J., Heo E., Park H., Wee S., and Sung K.
Food Res Int. 2018, 107:158-164.

Improvement of Bolton Broth by Supplementation with Tazobactam for the Isolation of Campylobacter from Chicken Rinses.
Chon J., Kim Y., Rashid F., Sung K., Khan S., Kim H. and Seo K.
Poult Sci. 2018, 97(1):289-293.

Investigating the Susceptibility of Mice to a Bacterial Challenge after Intravenous Exposure to Durable Nanoparticles.
Khan S., Zhang Q., Marasa B., Sung K., Cerniglia C., Ingle T., Jones Y., Paredes A., Tobin G., Bancos S., Weaver J., Goering P., Howard P., Patri A., and Tyner K.
Nanomedicine (Lond). 2017, 12(17):2097-2111.

Comprehensive In Vitro and In Vivo Risk Assessments of Chitosan Microparticles Using Human Epithelial Cells and Caenorhabditis Elegans.
Ma Z., Garrido-Maestu A., Lee C., Chon J., Jeong D., Yue Y., Sung K., Park Y., and Jeong K.
J Hazard Mater. 2018, 341:248-256.

Addition of Rifampicin to Bolton Broth to Inhibit Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase-Producing E. coli for the Detection of Campylobacter.
Chon J., Kim Y., Kim Y., Jung J., Bae D., Khan S., Seo K., and Sung K.
J Food Sci. 2017, 82(7):1688-1692.

Evaluation of Cephamycins as Supplements to Selective Agar for Detecting Campylobacter spp. in Chicken Carcass Rinses.
Chon J., Kim Y., Kim H., Kim D., Song K., Sung K., and Seo K.
Int J Food Microbiol. 2016, 223:75–78.

Draft Genome Sequences of Two Methicillin-Resistant Clinical Staphylococcus Aureus Isolates.
Khan S., Sung K., Iram S., Nawaz M., Xu J., and Marasa B.
Genome Announc. 2016, 4(1): e01396-15.

Genomic Sequence of a Clinical Vancomycin-Resistant Reference Strain, Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 51299.
Sung K., Khan S., Marasa B., Min S., Kweon O., Nawaz M., and Cerniglia C.
Genome Announc. 2015, 3(6):e01495-15.

Characterization of Novel Mutations Involved in Quinolone Resistance in Escherichia Coli Isolated from Imported Shrimp.
Nawaz M., Sung K., Kweon O., Khan S., Nawaz S., and Steele R.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015, 45(5):471-476.

Molecular Characterization, Antibiotic Resistance, and Virulence Factors of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Strains Isolated from Imported Meat in Korea.
Kim Y., Oh D., Song B., Heo E., Lim J., Moon J., Park H., Wee S., and Sung K.
Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2015, 12(5):390-398.

Molecular Characterization of Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Aeromonas spp. Isolated from Imported Shrimp.
Shakir Z., Khan S., Sung K., Khare S., Khan A., Steele R., and Nawaz M.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012, 78(22):8137-41.

Effect of Sterilized Human Fecal Extract on the Sensitivity of Escherichia Coli ATCC 25922 to Enrofloxacin.
Ahn Y., Sung K., Rafii F., and Cerniglia C.
J Antibiot. 2012, 65(4):179-84.

Lysozyme as a Barrier to Growth of Bacillus Anthracis Strain Sterne in Liquid Egg White, Milk and Beef.
Sung K., Khan S., Nawaz M., Cerniglia C., Tamplin M., Phillips R., and Kelly L.
Food Microbiol. 2011, 28(6):1231-1234.

Detection of aacA-aphD, qacEδ1, marA, floR, and tetA Genes from Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria: Comparative Analysis of Real-Time Multiplex PCR Assays Using EvaGreen® and SYBR® Green I Dyes.
Khan S., Sung K., and Nawaz M.
Mol Cell Probes. 2011, 25(2-3):78-86.

Molecular Characterization of Tetracycline-Resistant Genes and Integrons from Avirulent Strains of Escherichia Coli Isolated from Catfish.
Nawaz M., Khan A., Khan S., Sung K., Kerdahi K., and Steele R.
Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2009, 6(5):553-559.

The Survivability of Bacillus Anthracis (Stern Strain) in Processed Liquid Eggs.
Khan S., Sung K., Nawaz M., Cerniglia C., Tamplin M., Phillips R., and Kelly L.
Food Microbiol. 2009, 26(2):23–127.

Genetic Diversity of Tn1546-Like Elements in Clinical Isolates of Vancomycin-Resistant Enteroccoci.
Sung K., Khan S., and Nawaz M.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2008, 31(6):549-554.

Heteroresistance to Vancomycin and Novel Point Mutations in Tn1546 of Enterococcus Faecium ATCC 51559.
Khan S., Sung K., Layton S., and Nawaz M.
Int J Food Microbiol. 2008, 31(1):27-36.

Biochemical and Molecular Characterization of Tetracycline-Resistant Aeromonas Veronii Isolates from Catfish.
Nawaz M., Sung K., Khan S., Khan A., and Steele R.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006, 72(10):6461-6466.

Heat-Treated Campylobacter spp. and mRNA Stability as Determined by Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).
Sung K., Hiett K., and Stern N.
Foodborne Pathog. Dis. 2005, 2(2):130-137.

Relationship of Messenger RNA Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction Signal to Campylobacter spp. Viability.
Sung K., Stern N., and Hiett K.
Avian Dis. 2004, 48(2):254-262. 

Contact Information
Kidon Sung
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
Back to Top