R(D)SVS: Defining the bacterial drivers of group B Streptococcus in the aquaculture niche

   College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

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  Dr N Lynskey, Dr D Robledo, Dr Joana Alves  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The emergence of new and highly virulent lineages of bacterial pathogens is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity. These lineages can be associated with pandemic spread as well as “host-jump” events enabling the infection of new host species and zoonotic disease with potentially devastating consequences. The lethal multi-host pathogen Group B Streptococcus is associated with significant disease in aquaculture, livestock and human hosts, however its ability to infect this diverse array of species is not well understood.

Group B streptococcal disease in aquaculture is primarily associated with farming of tilapia, where outbreaks result in up to 80 % mortaility and large economic losses. Antibiotics remain the first line of defence, use of which contributes to the global threat of antimicrobial resistance. This, combined with the recent emergence of lethal human infections resulting from consupmtion of contaminated fish, renders Group B Streptococcus a critical One Health pathogen, infetion by and control of which poses a significant threat to both human and animal health.

This PhD is a collaborative project between the labs of Dr Nicola Lynskey and Dr Diego Robledo at the University of Edinburgh. Using cutting-edge microbiology and genomics techniques we aim to identify and characterise the bacterial factors that have driven the adaptation of Group B Streptococcus to the aquaculture niche, with the ultimate goal of improving the development of vaccines and more effective treatment stragtegies that are urgently needed for this potentially lethal pathogen.

This PhD project will be based in the Lynskey Lab and Robledo Labs at the Roslin Institute, Univeristy of Edinburgh. The student will benefit from the world-class biomedical research facilities and access to expertise in molecular microbiology and sequencing tehcnnologies and modelling of both human and veterinary infections. For informal enquires please contact Dr Nicola Lynskey ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Diego Robledo ([Email Address Removed]). 

Funding information and application procedures:

This 3.5 year studentship opportunity is open to UK and international students and provides funding to cover stipend, tuition fees and consumable/travel costs. 

Application form can be downloaded via https://www.ed.ac.uk/sites/default/files/atoms/files/rdsvs_gaffs_roslin_foundation_studentship_application_form_2024-25.doc

Please send your completed Application Form to [Email Address Removed]

If you are applying for more than one studentship please submit a separate application with a closing date of noon on 8th January 2024 at https://www.ed.ac.uk/roslin/work-study/opportunities/studentships  

Biological Sciences (4)


Tan S, Lin Y, Foo K, Koh HF, Tow C, Zhang Y, Ang LW, Cui L, Badaruddin H, Ooi PL, Lin RT, Cutter J. Group B Streptococcus Serotype III Sequence Type 283 Bacteremia Associated with Consumption of Raw Fish, Singapore. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Nov;22(11):1970-1973. doi: 10.3201/eid2211.160210.
Charbonneau ARL, Forman OP, Cain AK, Newland G, Robinson C, Boursnell M, Parkhill J, Leigh JA, Maskell DJ, Waller AS. Defining the ABC of gene essentiality in streptococci. BMC Genomics. 2017 May 31;18(1):426. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3794-3

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 About the Project