Staff Fellow — Division of Microbiology
Kidon Sung, Ph.D.
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 a Ph.D. with a focus on food safety from the University of Georgia. He studied a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay to detect viable Campylobacter jejuni during graduate school. Dr. Sung joined the Division of Microbiology at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), as a postdoctoral research fellow and later moved into a research microbiologist staff fellow role. Dr. Sung is a recipient of the Ambassadorial Scholar of International Rotary Club (1998), the Developing Scientist Award of the International Association for Food Protection (2002), the FDA Group Recognition Award (2007), the FDA Excellence in Laboratory Science Group Award (2009, 2015), and the NCTR Special Act Award (2018).
Biofilms are 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 extracellular matrix and poor penetration of antibiotics into the biofilm are considered to be 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 nosocomial pathogens a serious public health problem, especially if the removal and reinsertion 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 activity for pathogenic bacteria.
Dr. Sung’s research interest is identifying biofilm formation or antimicrobial resistance markers by using integrated transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of biofilms following consistent bacterial exposure to the antimicrobial medical devices. This study aids the FDA in: 1) designing management practices for biofilm control in antimicrobial-coated medical devices, 2) developing risk assessment models of biofilm growth in antimicrobial-coated materials, 3) understanding the role of different genes and proteins responsible for survival of biofilms in antimicrobial-coated materials, and 4) gaining 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 biofilms.
Dr. Sung is also interested in biofilm control using nanomaterials, development of rapid methods for detecting antibiotic resistant genes, molecular characterization of antimicrobial resistant pathogens, development of selective media to isolate foodborne pathogens, and interaction between pathogenic bacteria and human cells.
Professional Societies/National and International Groups
American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
2003 – Present
International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
2001 – Present
Dynamic Adaptive Response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to Clindamycin/Rifampicin-Impregnated Catheters.
Sung K., Chon J.W., Kweon O., Nho S., Kim S.J., Park M., Paredes A., Lim J.H., Khan S., Phillips K.S., and Cerniglia C.E.
Antibiotics (Basel). 2021, 10(7):752.
Detection of Campylobacter jejuni from Fresh Produce: Comparison of Culture- and PCR-Based Techniques, and Metagenomic Approach for Analyses of the Microbiome Before and After Enrichment.
Chon J.W., Jung J.Y., Ahn Y., Bae D., Khan S., Seo K.H., Kim H., and Sung K.
Journal of Food Protection. 2021, doi: 10.4315/JFP-20-408.
Virulence Characteristics of mecA-Positive Multidrug-Resistant Clinical Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci.
Chon J.W., Lee U.J., Bensen R., West S., Paredes A., Lim J., Khan S., Hart M., Phillips K.S., and Sung K.
Microorganissms. 2020, 8(5):659.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 for all lab members:
- Contact Information
- Kidon Sung
- (870) 543-7121
ExpertiseApproachDomainTechnology & DisciplineToxicology