Streptococcal transmission and disease

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Department
Microbiology and Immunology
Location
Doherty Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Jonathan Jacobson
Professor Andrew Steer

Summary In this project, you will use a murine model of Streptococcus pyogenes colonisation to examine the effect of respiratory viruses (e.g. influenza) on Streptococcus pyogenes colonisation, including for transmission (spread to co-housed littermates) and disease, and the mechanisms involved.

Project Details

The bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus) causes a range of mild to severe infections, ranging from sore throat to streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.  Importantly, Streptococcus pyogenes infections can lead to serious sequelae such as rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Streptococcus pyogenes can also colonise a variety of human tissues including the upper respiratory tract and skin in healthy people.

In a related bacterial species, Streptococcus pneumoniae, we have shown that viral co-infection can enhance bacterial virulence by increasing bacterial density and inflammation in the host, and by driving changes in expression of bacterial virulence genes. There is recent clinical epidemiologic evidence that viruses are also important in Streptococcus pyogenes pathogenesis, but little is known about this process.

In this project, you will use a murine model of Streptococcus pyogenes colonisation to examine the effect of respiratory viruses (e.g. influenza) on Streptococcus pyogenes colonisation, including for transmission (spread to co-housed littermates) and disease, and the mechanisms involved. To achieve these aims, a range of methods will be employed including animal and tissue handling, immunological assays, traditional microbiology and molecular approaches such as qPCR, and gene expression analyses. Your project will provide important novel data on key components of Streptococcus pyogenes pathogenesis, and inform a pathway towards improving strategies for preventing Streptococcus pyogenes infections.



Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Infection & Immunity



Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Microbiology and Immunology

Research Node

Doherty Institute

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