Seeing is believing, observing bacterial biofilm formation in vivo

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Molecular Biology and Biotechnology


Most bacteria grow as biofilms in their natural environment. This is particularly
important for pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is notorious for
growing on implants such as joint replacements. Such biofilms are extremely
difficult to treat with antibiotics and often means the implant needs to be
removed. The project will bring together state-of-the-art imaging approaches to
determine how biofilms are made during an infection. The zebrafish embryo
model of S. aureus pathogenesis is unique to Sheffield and offers a window on
disease, as the embryos are transparent. The project will visualise biofilm
formation in vivo using a combination of fluorescent labelling of bacteria and
real-time microscopy to determine components important in biofilm formation
and how they are expressed. The action of antimicrobial interventions will be
visualised in vivo using the zebrafish model. The experiments will be used to
inform approaches for understanding and controlling biofilm formation in
mammals by such an important antimicrobial resistant pathogen as S. aureus


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
1945736 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2021 Amy Tooke