Supervisor - Dr Dan Tucker
Molecular tools for detection and control of Streptococcus suis infection in pigs.
Thomas is working towards his PhD while at Pembroke College under the guidance of Dr Dan Tucker. Having completed his first degree in Biological Sciences Thomas then studied for an MSc in Biomedicine before moving to Cambridge working at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. While investigating host-pathogen interactions in the Microbial Pathogenesis group of Professor Gordon Dougan, Thomas decided to pursue his PhD at the University of Cambridge moving to the Department of Veterinary Medicine.
Subject groups/Research projects
Streptococcus suis is one of the most important swine pathogens world-wide. Infections are responsible for important economic losses to the porcine industry and have been considered a major problem particularly during the last 20 years1.
A gram-positive, non-sporing bacteria S.suis causes a wide variety of disease in pigs, including, but not limited to, meningitis, septicaemia and endocarditis. Despite carrier rates being near 100%, disease incidence varies due mainly to the use of group-level antimicrobial medication. However, in the absence of treatment mortality rates can reach 20%2.
Thomas’s research focus concentrates on understanding the pathogenicity of S.suis using a combined wet bench and bioinformatic approach with a view to design and evaluate innovative methods for the detection and control of disease-related S.suis in intensive pig production systems.
1Fittipaldi, N. et al. et al. Virulence factors involved in the pathogenesis of the infection caused by the swine pathogen and zoonotic agent Streptococcus suis. Future Microbiol. 7(2), 259-279 (2012).
2Gottschalk, M. et al. Streptococcus suis: a new emerging or an old neglected zoonotic pathogen? Future Microbiol. 5(3), 371-391 (2010).
Kingsley, R. A. et al. Genome and Transcriptome Adaptation Accompanying Emergence of the Definitive Type 2 Host-Restricted Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Pathovar. MBio 4(5):e00565-13. (2013).
Perkins, T. T. et al. ChIP-seq and transcriptome analysis of the OmpR regulon of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Typhimurium reveals accessory genes implicated in host colonization. Mol Microbiol 87(3), 526-538 (2013).