Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli ST131 (ExPEc ST131) pathogenesis and ecology. ExPEc ST131 is a predominant E. coli sequence type associated with millions of multi-drug resistant infections worldwide. Little is known about the molecular basis for ExPEc ST131’s success or its environmental reservoirs. The DeVinney lab is part of a multi-national team examining ST131 transmission dynamics. Our research is focused on determining the contribution of genomic elements unique to ST131 on its fitness and virulence using in vitro and in vivo model systems. We are also examining whether household dogs can serve as an asymptomatic reservoir for ST131, and its survival within water treatment facilities.
E. coli and acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) in dogs Gastroenteritis is a common illness in companion dogs prompting veterinary visits. A variety of pathogens are associated with HGE, with the role of E. coli increasingly appreciated in dogs of all ages. Work in our lab is focused on characterizing E. coli isolates associated with HGE and determining their virulence mechanisms using genomic, cell biology and biochemical approaches.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus interactions with molluscan and mammalian hosts V. parahaemolyticus is an important cause of gastroenteritis resulting from the consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish. In contrast, in the marine environment, V. parahaemolyticus asymptomatically colonizes filter feeding shellfish such as oysters and mussels. V. parahaemolyticus interacts differently with molluscan and mammalian phagocytes, and a focus of our group is to understand the molecular mechanism of these differences.
This supervisor is currently seeking students.
We are looking for an M.Sc. student to assess whether household dogs are asymptomatic carriers of E. coli ST131. The successful candidate will have a background in microbiology and an interest in public health. The project involves collecting canine fecal samples from dog owners throughout the Calgary region, using PCR and culture based methods to determine the presence of ST131, and analyzing data from an accompanying questionnaire interrogating both human and animal concerns.
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