The molecular basis of bovine contagious pleuropneumonia (CBPP) pathogenesis in young and adult cattle
Prof Appolinaire Djikeng
Dr Musa Hassan
No more applications being accepted
Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), caused by Mycoplasma mycoides mycoides (Mmm), is a highly contagious bovine pulmonary disease and one of the most important infectious diseases of cattle in Africa . Naïve cattle can experience losses of up to 80% and surviving cattle remain chronic carriers. Available vaccines are suboptimal with low efficacy, short duration of protection, and a limited compliance by cattle owners due to sporadic severe reactions at the site of injection. Protective host responses and the pathogen factors that induce them are largely unknown, which is a great impediment to the development of more efficient vaccines or drugs. Additionally, while the disease presents disparate clinical signs in young and adult calves (arthritis and pneumonia) , the underlying mechanisns mechanisms are not known. Mmm infection occurs principally by inhaling infectious bacilli into the lungs. As such, understanding the molecular mechanisms that underpin bacterial interactions with the epithelial cells lining the lungs has the potential to reveal the local host immunity and bacteria factors that modulate CBPP pathogenesis and equip us with novel tools to control CBPP. In this project, the student will use a well-established bovine alveolus culture model  to culture and infect epithelium cells from young and adult calves, and leverage high throughput genomics and immunological approaches to determine the molecular basis for the different Mmm infection outcomes.
The student will acquire skills in cell culture, immunology and, transferable skills in computational biology.
This PhD will be primarily based at Roslin Institute at the Easter Bush Campus in Edinburgh, however the student will also work in close collaboration with research groups based in the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya.
Other projects available:
We would encourage applicants to list up to three projects of interest (ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice) from those listed with a closing date of 10th January 2020 at https://www.ed.ac.uk/roslin/work-study/opportunities/studentships
3.5 year PhD
Applications including a statement of interest and full CV with names and addresses (including email addresses) of two academic referees, should be emailed to [Email Address Removed].
When applying for the studentship please state clearly the project title/s and the supervisor/s in your covering letter.
All applicants should also apply through the University's on-line application system for September 2020 entry via
1. Jores, J., Mariner, JC., & Naessens, J. (2013). Development of an improved vaccine for contagious bovine pleuropneumonia: an African perspective on challenges and proposed actions.
2. Lee, D. & Chambers, M. (2019). A co-culture model of the bovine alveolus