Introduction: Campylobacter jejuni is the major cause of food-borne bacterial diarrhea worldwide. It has long been believed that most human C. jejuni infections are sporadic and not associated with specific strains. However, by routinely applying whole genome sequencing and advanced genotyping methods, recent work has shown some C. jejuni strains dominate in Danish poultry production for years and are associated with most human cases. Yet currently we do not know how these high-impact C. jejuni strains are able to persist and how they differ genetically and phenotypically compared to low-impact C. jejuni isolates.
Aim: Identify genetic and phenotypic characteristics in high-impact C. jejuni strains by detailed bioinformatic analyses combined with high-throughput phenotypic screening assays.
Your work: You will use selected high-impact and low-impact C. jejuni isolates of chicken, food and human origin isolated by Statens Serum Institut (SSI) in recent years and use bioinformatics and wet-lab experiments to identify specific genetic and phenotypic traits associated with being high-impact. The project is a collaboration with SSI and involves a stay there to learn and perform the bioinformatic analyses. Furthermore, you will learn how to work with pathogenic bacteria and get GMOII lab experience as well as be working in international research labs.
Methods: C. jejuni cultivation experiments, comparative genomics and more detailed bioinformatic genome analyses, assist in developing high-throughput phenotypic analyses, etc.
Promoter and tutor in the lab: at KU: Assistant professor Martine Camilla Holst Sørensen email@example.com; at SSI: Researcher Katrine Grimstrup Joensen KNJ@ssi.dk.