CANVAS – Broadly protective glycoconjugate vaccines targeting major animal and zoonotic Gram-positive pathogens
September 2019 - September 2023
Group and collaboration
Collaboration: Dr. Lindert Benedictus & Dr. Gerrit Koop (co-promotors, Utrecht University), Prof. Dr. Arjan Stegeman & Prof. Dr. Victor Rutten (promotors, Utrecht University)
PhD Student: Kitty Exel
The main objectives of this project are to characterise the contribution of colonisation of cattle with S. aureus to the spread of S. aureus and the occurrence of intramammary infections and to determine how colonisation shapes the adaptive immune response against S. aureus. Within this project a multi-disciplinary approach will be used to address the main objective. First, a cost effectiveness analysis will help to analyse the potential impact of implementing different intervention strategies for the different S. aureus strains. Next, transmission of S. aureus within and between cows will be characterised in detail using molecular genotyping methods. Profiling of S. aureus specific immunity combined with characterisation of colonisation will elucidate how colonisation shapes immunity against S. aureus. Finally, the role of antibody response against wall teichoic acid, a dominant variable cell wall antigen of S. aureus, will be characterised in vitro and ex vivo.
PhD student interview
Many studies focus on health and disease from a human, animal or environmental perspective. Kitty Exel realised during her studies that it is important to adopt an integrated approach. “This is why I am excited to study the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which infects both cattle and humans.”