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The maintenance of virulence and antimicrobial resistance in Shigella

  • Full or part time
    Prof C Tang
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 10, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Shigella spp are the main cause for dysentery worldwide, and emerged from commensal Escherichia coli following acquisition of a 210 kb virulence plasmid. The bacterium has also evolved plasmid-mediated antimicrobial resistance, making infections difficult to treat. Work will focus on the molecular mechanisms by which these plasmids are maintained in bacterial populations. This will involve bioinformatics, molecular genetics, and protein biochemistry and structure.

Funding Notes

4 Year DPhil Prize Studentships cover all University fees, a stipend of ~£17,009 pa, and up to £5,300 pa for research costs and travel. The competition is open to applicants from all countries. See View Website for full details and to apply.


McVicker G., Hollingshead S., Pilla G., Tang C.M. Maintenance of the virulence plasmid in Shigella flexneri is influenced by Lon and two functional partitioning systems. Mol. Microbiol. 2019 doi:10.1111/mmi.14225.
Pilla G., Tang C.M. Going around in circles: virulence plasmids in enteric pathogens.
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2018 16: 484-495.
Pilla G., MacVicker G. Tang C.M. Genetic plasticity of the Shigella virulence plasmid is mediated by intra- and inter-molecular events between insertion sequences. PLoS Genet. 2018 13: e1007014.
MacVicker G. Tang C.M. Deletion of toxin-antitoxin systems in the evolution of Shigella sonnei as a host-adapted pathogen. Nature Microbiol. 2016 2: 16204.

How good is research at University of Oxford in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 223.80

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