Medical Microbiology student Salina Thapa will present her research project about Salmonella outbreaks at the Falling Walls Lab on 1 October.
The research project was carried out by MSc student Salina Thapa under the supervision of Dr Manal Mohammed, and will be presented by Salina at the Falling Walls Lab, an international forum to promote pioneering ideas from the next generation of innovators.
The project entitled “Breaking the wall of Salmonella outbreaks investigation” aimed to develop novel laboratory methods for the investigation of Salmonella outbreaks in real-time.
The current standard tools for the outbreak investigation of Salmonella tend to be inaccurate, slow and costly. It is estimated that over 680,000 people die each year of invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella, and it is therefore crucial to develop more accurate, reliable methods for outbreak investigation.
The project findings revealed that whole-genome sequence-based methods that Salina and Dr Mohammed have been investigating prove to be a more robust tool for salmonella subtyping, outbreak investigation and identifying the source of Salmonella infection in real-time.
The research using prophage subtyping found that by looking at the genetic material, you can differentiate between certain outbreak strains of Salmonella and non-outbreak strains. Outbreak strains will have an identical prophage sequence profile that is unique to the outbreak strains and the source of infection.
Talking about the event, Salina said: “I am very thankful to Manal as she motivated me to apply for the Falling Walls Lab. This unique platform offers an exciting opportunity to communicate my MSc research to people from various backgrounds and I am looking forward to their feedback. This brilliant opportunity has given me more confidence to pursue a PhD in my future.”
Dr Mohammed added: “I am very happy that Salina has won this opportunity and will showcase our ground-breaking research and share it with people from a wide range of backgrounds.”