Current research projects

Ongoing and recently completed studies

Assessing exposure to antibiotic resistance

Identifying environmental reservoirs of novel antibiotic resistant genes This project is seeking to reveal how humans are exposed to environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistant organisms. Previous work by Dr William Gaze has demonstrated that the natural environment can act as a reservoir of previously unknown antibiotic resistant genes. By cloning DNA into antibiotic susceptible E.…

Bacteria and viral resistance

This project is investigating whether sex in bacteria can help them get ahead in their arms race with viruses. Just as humans, bacteria suffer from attack of deadly viruses. Parasitic viruses and their hosts are locked in a continuing arms race: hosts develop resistance against their parasites, and parasites evolve to overcome this resistance and…

Environmental pollutants and antibiotic resistance

Assessing selection for antibiotic resistance in the natural environment. Established theories suggest that selection for resistant bacteria usually occurs in the human body, when a patient is under antibiotic therapy. However, recent research suggests that low concentrations of antibiotics and other compounds in the natural environment could drive selection for antibiotic resistance. This study is…

Targeted genomics to reveal antibiotic resistance genes disseminated by transduction

This study will undertake a comprehensive screen for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) carried by bacteriophages in waste water, using targeted genomics approaches where an antibiotic sensitive E. coli reference strain will be exposed to bacteriophages isolated from waste water, followed by screening of clones for antibiotic resistance and next generation sequencing. Increasing prevalence of antibiotic…