The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Quantifying bacterial recombination within globally evolving streptococcal pathogens

Davies Group

High strain prevalence and extensive genetic diversity are key features of bacterial pathogens such as the Group A Streptococcus (GAS) that cause endemic disease in low-income settings throughout the world. Strain diversity and prevalence are likely associated, but the genetic mechanisms that underpin the maintenance of high strain diversity observed within streptococcal endemic settings remains poorly understood. Over the past decade, we have compiled a large database (>2000 genomes) of GAS genomes from around the world. Our preliminary investigations suggest that genomic recombination occurs much more frequently than previously appreciated, especially within disease endemic settings. By taking advantage of our unique genome databases, this project will use the latest population genomic tools and advanced Bayesian statistical (ABC) interference methods to quantify and model the role that recombination plays in maintaining GAS strain diversity within a global context.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Mark Davies

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Nic Geard

Project availability

Davies Group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections
Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research
Indigenous Health
Public Health

The Davies group aims to apply genome sequencing methodologies and bioinformatics approaches to understand the evolution and transmission of bacterial pathogens. This knowledge can help facilitate a global understanding of pathogen evolution, in addition to informing public health intervention to reduce the disease burden associated with bacterial pathogens. Current projects address key research questions such as: is there a genetic difference between strains causing different disease manifestations? What is driving the emergence and dissemination of bacterial pathogens? Do host immune factors govern disease severity? Our research closely aligns with key international collaborators including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom.