Infection and Microbiology Research Group
(Part of the Institute of Biomedical & Environmental Health Research)
Our research spans areas of microbiology from human to environmental health. Within the human health remit we have projects in infection control in public health to studies of the immune response and development of new medicines for parasitic infections. Within the environmental field, we are studying the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and how microbes can be utilised in bioremediation. Our research partners include research institutions, industry and the NHS.
We interact very closely with other research centres within IBEHR and UWS and we are keen to develop new collaborations and partnership with external partners.
Research undertaken by members of the group maps onto a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals, which include:
- Cleaning and Disinfection with Healthcare Settings [addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals 3,6,9,11,13,14]
- studying the persistence and survival of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites) in healthcare and community settings and how common environmental factors contribute to this, and disinfection susceptibility.
- Antimicrobial resistance in the environment and bioremediation [addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals 3,6,9,11,12, 14,15.]
- UKRI NERC funded ‘One Health’ approaches to understanding factors that contribute to the emergence of AMR in the environment and development of mitigation strategies.
- Prevention and treatment for parasitic diseases [addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 14]
- Currently focusing development of prevention and treatment for the sight-threatening parasite Acanthamoeba, Leishmania species and the fish pathogen Neoparamoeba perurans. Our research on Acanthamoeba collaboration NHS, patient groups, opticians, industry and several research institutions. Our research on Neoparamoeba is a collaboration with other Universities based in Scotland and aquaculture industry. Our research on Leishmania is a collaboration with other Universities based in UK and Argentina.
- Understanding the impact of infection and metabolised compounds on the reproductive environment and characterise molecules of the immune response [addressing UN Sustainable Development Goal 3]
- Current projects include: (a) defining the impact of ethanol on placenta gene expression and function; (b) an investigation into the role of IL-33 in the placenta; (c) an investigation into the role of ACKR2 in the placenta; and (d) studies into the control of infection-induced inflammation in the placenta, focussing on using the parasite Toxoplasma gondiias our model infection.
We pursue development of these areas and building critical mass with academic depth based on a strong scientific and theoretical basis.
An important project, running until December 2023, which is being led by the Infection and Microbiology Research Group is Advanced Metagenomics, Sensors and Photocatalysis for Antimicrobial Resistance Elimination [AMSPARE]. The aim of this project is to understand the impact of antibiotic pollution on the environmental microbiology and to design effective measures for monitoring antibiotic levels and to remove them from the waste if they are present.
Find out more about the AMSPARE project