Staphylococcus aureus & lifestyle variations
We’re conducting biomedical research into Staphylococcus aureus (Golden staph) and invite interested honours students to become involved.
We have a set of clinical isolates of S. aureus collected from various disease outcomes and our initial studies have generated data that shows there are significant lifestyle variations (biofilm, colony-type or pigment production, see Figure 1) between these isolates when assaulted with stresses relevant to the host-pathogen environment.
These are specific to particular isolates. Our current work aims to elucidate the molecular basis for these switches in lifestyle under environmental stress that are specific to these isolates and how this relates to disease outcome.
Study infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance
All pathogenic bacteria need specialised mechanisms to adapt to the conditions in which they inhabit. For pathogenic bacteria this includes the changes from the environment, reservoir and the different anatomical niches they can inhabit.
Many of these conditions are nonoptimal and create a stress on the bacteria. In addition, many host cells generate reactive chemicals as an anti-microbial process.
The work in our lab aims to study the particular pathways important in the pathogenic bacterial adaptation and that are unique to a specific species.
We have projects on various pathogens. Our work generally is focussed on using molecular biology to understand the transcriptional and metabolic pathways that are important to the bacterial stress response.