FST16: Investigating the Molecular Basis of Invasiveness in Salmonella Dublin

Salmonellosis is one of the most common foodborne diseases worldwide. Salmonella enterica causes a huge global burden of morbidity and mortality in humans. It is estimated that Salmonella serovars responsible for typhoid fever kill over 250,000 humans each year while non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars responsible for diarrhoeal illness cause 155,000 deaths annually. Moreover, non-typhoidal Salmonella might have adapted to cause invasive disease and systemic infections in humans and it is estimated that 680,000 people die every year as a result of infection by invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella. The most predominant invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella serovar associated with systemic illness in humans is Salmonella Typhimurium however, a high proportion of Salmonella Dublin cases are characterized by bloodstream infection and serious illness. Salmonella Dublin is adapted to cattle thus, people can be infected through contact with infected animals or consumption of contaminated food including raw milk and raw-milk cheese. Foodborne outbreaks of human Salmonella Dublin infection have been recently reported in some European countries including Ireland and France.

The genetic basis of invasiveness of Salmonella Dublin is not well characterized and our understanding of the virulence of Salmonella Dublin is skewed by the fact that most studies have focused on Salmonella Typhimurium. The aim of this research project is to characterize the invasome of Salmonella Dublin that enable the bacteria to invade blood causing systemic illness. There is no vaccine against invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella therefore, understanding the molecular basis of invasiveness in Salmonella Dublin will provide insights into the development of an effective vaccine that will prevent the occurrence of foodborne outbreaks and the high morbidity and mortality in humans.

The student should be interested in microbial genomics.

The student will receive training in relevant techniques/technologies and gain expertise in a number of key project planning and analytical research and subject specific skills.

The student will also take part in the University Graduate School and Faculty Doctoral Research Development Programme (DRDP) including transferable skills (eg presentation skills, scientific writing and employability skills) which aid in their future career progression. The student will also be encouraged to join relevant learned societies, which provide excellent support for students in terms of training opportunities and meetings to disseminate and publish their research.

Further enquiries

Please contact Dr Manal Mohammed, [email protected].


5pm on 10 February 2017

Apply now

Applications should be made to the Life Sciences MPhil/PhD programme and you should clearly state that you are applying for a Quintin Hogg Trust Scholarship and the Scholarship code (eg FST1) on your application.


Full details on how to apply.

Book, calculator and notepad

Fees and funding

How much will it cost to study a research degree?

Staff on computer in the office

How to write your research proposal

Discover how you should write your research proposal before applying for University of Westminster.