Gram-negative Bacterial Pathogens

Current main projects

Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) and keratitis:

  • Development of diagnostic probes for Liverpool CF epidemic strain (LES) and other epidemic strains;
  • Molecular typing of CF isolates from Liverpool and other CF units, and of eye infection isolates from across the UK; Identification of additional virulence factors in LES;
  • Genomics and infection models to characterise genes in the LES;
  • Biofilm models for screening anti-infective agents and modelling bacterial populations
  • Analysis of P. aeruginosa population divergence and evolution in CF; Role of bacteriophages in strain evolution/adaptation
  • Population biology of keratitis isolates; Distribution of virulence genes amongst CF and ulcerative keratitis isolates. 
  • Funding from Wellcome Trust, Dr Hadwen Trust and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Microbial Diseases.

Microbiomes / bacterial population interactions

  • Next generation sequencing microbiome analysis applied to human respiratory samples
  • Bacterial interactions in mixed biofilms
  • Funding from NIHR and Leverhulme Trust

Uropathogenic E.coli (UPEC) interactions with the host

  • Characterising E. coli interactions with human and rat ureters.  Identification of genes implicated in such interactions.
  • Genomics of epidemiologically important UPEC. 
  • Funding from Wellcome Trust and Mersey Kidney Research.

Genetic variation in Campylobacter spp. isolates / Campylobacter in the environment

  • Identification of strain variations using subtractive hybridisation, microarrays and genome sequencing. 
  • Molecular epidemiology of Campylobacter. 
  • Population biology of Campylobacter spp. in the environment
  • Funding from joint research councils (MRC, BBSRC, NERC, ESRC) as part of the Environment & Social Ecology of Human Infectious Diseases initiative.

Characterisation of mucosal isolates of Escherichia coli in relation to Crohn’s disease and colon cancer

  • Studies aimed at characterising the role of E. coli in Crohn’s disease / colon cancer; Identification of novel genes; Characterisation of the role of CNF-1. 
  • Funding from North West Cancer Research Fund, NACC and NIHR.

Genomics of pathogens of veterinary importance, Genome sequencing of 50 pathogens

  • Genomics of P. aeruginosa in ovine/bovine mastitis. 
  • Comparative genomics of C. fetus
  • Funding from RCVS Trust.

Genomic analysis of invasive African non-typhoidal salmonellae

  • Identification of novel virulence genes using subtractive hybridisation; Genome sequence analysis / comparative genomics. 
  • Funding from MRC.