Microbial ecology and metagenomics of a foodborne pathogen


Campylobacter is the commonest bacterial cause of diarrhoeal disease in the UK, where is it most often associated with poultry, and amongst the top five causes of diarrhoeal disease in low and middle income countries. Despite this, the detection of Campylobacter is challenging as it is difficult to grow in the laboratory. Metagenome sequencing, which does not require growing bacteria, offers an approach which can be used to examine the total microbial diversity of a sample.

This multidisciplinary project with Dr Mather and Prof Wain will examine the microbial communities associated with both the presence and absence of Campylobacter on chicken. This may suggest novel mechanisms to reduce the survival of Campylobacter in the food chain. To achieve these goals, the successful candidate will develop skills in state-of-the-art genomics, metagenomics, microbiology, ecology, epidemiology and bioinformatics.

The student will join an interdisciplinary team that will support their training and development. Quadram Institute Bioscience provides a stimulating and supportive environment for research on food, the microbiome and microbes in the food chain. The student will have intellectual input into shaping the project and there will be opportunities to collaborate with partners both within and outside the institute to develop further skills and impact of the project.