NIH Peru meeting

Ben has recently returned from a trip to Iquitos in Peru for the first meeting of our NIH funded project, in collaboration with the Universities of Virginia, Arizona and the USDA in the US.

GETcampy-Africa 1st kick-off meeting in Basse, The Gambia

Sam, Ben and Evangelos have returned from a successful visit to The Gambia. They spent three days in Basse field station where they had the 1st hybrid kick-off meeting for the GETcampy-Africa project. They visited various field sites and met with friends and collaborators from the MRC Units in Basse and Banjul! The meeting was hosted by Dr. Jahangir Hossain (LSHTM, The Gambia) and Dr. Pa Cheboh Saine (Head of Basse field station) at Basse, and by Prof Martin Antonio and Jarra Manneh at Banjul. Dr Akosua Karikari and Dr Courage Sabo (University of Development studies, Ghana) as well as Dr Isidore Bonkoungou (University of Joseph KI-ZERBO, Burkina Faso) along with Dr Kaisa Hauka (University of Helsinki, Finland) also joined the meeting via zoom. Very promising outcomes and lots of good projects ahead! Many thanks to everyone involved in organizing this exciting meeting!

From left: Evangelos Mourkas, Jahangir Hossain, Angela Coker, Ben Pascoe, Sam Sheppard, Abdoulai F. Jallow, Conteh Bakary, Henry Badji, Jarra Manneh

During their stay in Basse, they visited the hospital, medical centres, veterinary livestock clinic and different communities and engaged with the local people. During their stay in Banjul, they visited the MRC Unit and went on a tour in the different labs in the brand new building! Sam and Ben went fishing (and came back empty-handed!), Evangelos held a snake for the first time, and they all went for a 26km bike ride terrorizing the streets of Banjul!

Podcast: Why use genomics in an epidemic?

Sam Sheppard from the University of Bath presents at the ARTICnetwork & CLIMB-BIG-DATA workshop on COVID-19 data analysis, motivating why we should use genomics in an epidemic. He gives background on typing schemes, different ways of sequencing and challenges such as how you can analyse large mounts of genomic data.
Micro binfie podcast [link]

CLIMB-NG Workshop:…a-joint-workshop/

Agricultural intensification and the evolution of host specialism in the enteric pathogen Campylobacter jejuni

The group’s latest paper investigating the emergence of cattle specialist strains of Campylobacter jejuni associated with intensive animal agriculture was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Abstract below]

Cattle in a US feedlot
Bath University press release: Intensive farming increases risk of epidemics
Sheffield University press release: Intensive farming increases risk of epidemics

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Welcome Jaspreet!

We are glad to welcome Jaspreet Mahindroo to the lab, who is visiting as part of her PhD studies with Dr. Neelam Taneja at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh in India. We’re very happy to help Jaspreet characterize her Campylobacter genomes and investigate potential sources of infection in India.

From left to right: Ben, Grant, Jess, Sam, Jaspreet & Evangelos.

Darwin Day: Dr. Kat Arney

Darwin Day Lecture, Wednesday February 19th, 2020
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Dr. Kat Arney – Everything You Know About Genetics Is Wrong.
Many of us learn about genetics in school starting with Mendel and his pea plants. We learn that one gene is linked to one trait, and one gene fault causes one disease. But the recent revolution in DNA sequencing is revealing that it’s much more complicated. People are not peas – and even peas are not peas! Dr Kat Arney, author of Herding Hemingways Cats: understanding how our genes work and How to Code a Human, explains how much we really know about how our genetic blueprints dictate our characteristics and health.

Special thanks to Jess for organising the event and to Evangelos, Vicky, Emily and Sabrina for helping out during the day.