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Metabonomic evaluation of Lactobacillus salivarius ability to protect against Brachyspira pilosicoli-induced intestinal spirochetosis

   Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

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  Dr Sandrine Claus  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Brachyspira pilosicoli is an infectious agent responsible for intestinal spirochetosis in human, swine and poultry. As it is omnipresent in flocks in the United Kingdom, it is necessary to find an alternative to the banned use of prophylactic antibiotic course to control its spread. In this project, it is proposed to evaluate the ability of a commercially available probiotic, Lactobacillus salivarius, to protect intestinal cells from Brachyspira pilosicoli infection. This will be achieved by testing its ability to prevent B pilosicoli-induced metabolic perturbations on three dimensional intestinal cells using an untargeted NMR-based metabonomics approach coupled with multivariate statistics.

We are committed to an on-going training and development programme for the PhD student who will be supported by both the Food and Nutritional Sciences Department staff and external collaborators. Specific training for 3D cell culture will be provided by our collaborators at the University of Surrey under the supervision of Prof Roberto La Ragione. Training in prebiotic synthesis will be provided by appropriate staff in the Food and Nutritional Department at the University of Reading under the supervision of Prof Glenn Gibson. NMR-based metabonomics and data analysis training will be undertaken at the University of Reading under the supervision of Dr Sandrine Claus. An advanced training in multivariate statistics is also planned with an on-going collaborating external consultant who will provide extra help and support in the statistical part of the project. A specific training in NMR spectroscopy is also planned at Bruker BioSpin in Germany. The PhD student will participate in at least one international conference. In addition to communicating the study’s outcome to a large audience of peers, this will offer the opportunity for the student to develop a strong professional network in the field of food safety and microbiology.

Funding Notes

The studentship commences in October 2012, is three years in duration and will cover Tuition Fees and Research Council minimum stipend. Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelors Degree in a relevant subject, or hold a Master degree. Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.
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