TYLERK_U23MED - Functional Genomics and Metagenomics of Cryptosporidiosis

   Faculty of Medicine and Health Science

  Dr K Tyler  Sunday, October 02, 2022  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Human cryptosporidiosis is the leading protozoan cause of diarrhoeal mortality worldwide, and most infection is caused by either person to person transmitted Cryptosporidium hominis or the presumptively zoonotic C. parvum. However, both C. hominis and C. parvum can be split into two subclades. One, which we have recently identified as C. parvum anthroponosum is also predominantly spread person to person and shares a subset of loci with C. hominis that are undergoing rapid convergent evolution driven by positive selection. This subspecies predominates in lower-income countries with poor sanitation and in HIV positive individuals, in contrast to higher-income countries where it is rarely evident. Similarly the distribution of the two C. parvum subspecies correlates with sanitation indexes.

In the course of their studies the student will characterize the new subspecies of parasite providing annotated reference genomes, will evaluate whether virulence of the different subspecies are equivalent in human populations and will propagating the parasite and genetically transforming it to evaluate the role of the shared loci in adaptation to the human digestive tract and whether there is a differential effect on intestinal flora.

The student will further develop diagnostic tools to discriminate this group of parasites. The student will be supported by Earlham Institute for the genomic aspects of the project.

Funding Notes

Applications are invited for this three-year full-time PhD studentship from the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia. It is funded for tuition fees at Home-fee rate, a bench fee to cover the project costs, an annual stipend of £16,062 (2022/23 rate) and £1,000 per annum for research training


i) Evolutionary genomics of anthroponosis in Cryptosporidium Nader, J., Mathers, T. C., Ward, B. J., Pachebat, J., Swain, M., Robinson, G., Chalmers, R. M., Hunter, P., Van Oosterhout, C. & Tyler, K. 4 Mar 2019 In : Nature Microbiology.
ii) Anthroponotic transmission of Cryptosporidium parvum predominates in countries with poorer sanitation - a systematic review and meta-analysis
King, P., Tyler, K. M. & Hunter, P. R. 8 Jan 2019 In : Parasites & Vectors. 12, 16
iii) Global population genomics of two subspecies of Cryptosporidium hominis during 500 years of evolution
Tichkule, S., Cacciò, S. M., Robinson, G., Chalmers, R. M., Mueller, I., Emery-Corbin, S. J., Eibach, D., Tyler, K. M., van Oosterhout, C. & Jex, A. R., Apr 2022, In: Molecular Biology and Evolution. 39, 4, msac056.
iv) Novel real-time PCR assays for the specific detection of human infective Cryptosporidium species
Bouzid, M., Elwin, K., Nader, J., Chalmers, R., Hunter, P. & Tyler, K. 2016 In : Virulence. 7, 4, p. 395-399 5 p.
v) Cryptosporidium pathogenicity and virulence
Bouzid, M., Hunter, P., Chalmers, R. M. & Tyler, K. 1 Jan 2013 In : Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 26, 1, p. 115-134
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