Microbial Ecology

    • What is the underlying genetic epidemiology of key pathogens of African importance?
      • How does genotype define severity?
    • Can reverse vaccinology methodologies translate and ultimately fast track potential targets into viable vaccine targets?
      • How can we utilise the core and accessory genomes to develop broad based and targeted interventions?
  • The aim of the Microbial Ecology group is to define how a pathogen interacts with its environment. A pathogens environment can refer to its niche neighbours, its host or its discrete population, whether in country, across a region, continent or even globally. Defining pathogen behaviour in all of these contexts is key to identifying potential intervention measures. To develop this further we aim to develop a regional genomics hub to expand our collaborative research to regional neighbours including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Mauritius and Botswana. Such a facility is currently lacking
    1. Develop a robust surveillance platform/cohort for respiratory pathogens as a basis to inform the group’s key questions.
    2. Undertake longitudinal genomic analyses across a range of major respiratory pathogens (SPN, GAS, Staph, Flu) to identify targets for intervention.
    3. Test identified common targets in human models.
  • Secured a $6 million CDC co-operative agreement to study the epidemiology of respiratory pathogens, one of only 3 in Africa. Pneumococcal African Genomics paper published in the inaugural edition of Microbial Genomics. CID 10 yr meningitis paper.