The Whelan lab is currently recruiting eligible Undergraduate students to apply for an 8 week summer placement via the Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship in partnership with the University of Nottingham. The placement will involve using in vitro microbiological techniques to investigate the interactions between strains of the Streptococcus anginosus group (SAG) and Prevotella sp. in the cystic fibrosis microbiome. Full details of the project are outlined below.
For more information and to apply, please visit UoN’s Biomedical Vacation Scholarships webpage (Project 4).
Title: Understanding the interactions between members of the Streptococcus anginosus group and Prevotella sp. in the cystic fibrosis lung microbiome.
Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) affects approximately 12,000 people in the UK and Ireland. Pulmonary exacerbations (PEs) cause most of the morbidity and mortality in this patient population. Because PEs are usually successfully treated with antibiotics, we know that the bacteria that inhabit the lungs play an important role in these events. Previous work from myself and others has determined that the presence of the bacteria in the CF lung do not change before, during, and after PEs, suggesting that interactions between members of the microbiota may be more important in driving PEs than their presence alone.
Previous research suggests important interactions between the Streptococcus anginosus group (SAG) and Prevotella sp. (Prev) in the CF lung. For example, our group has found an SAG which prevents the growth of an Prevotella melanogenica. In this project, we hypothesize that SAG and Prev will interact in a strain-dependent manner. To test this, we will use in vitro competition spot assays to assess the interactions between a variety of SAG and Prev strains isolated from the CF lung microbiota using 2 selective agars – KVLB and McKay.