The research interests of our group are on the microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract and the role of the complex gut microbiome in health and disease. We are isolating and characterising strains of gut bacteria that can outcompete pathogenic bacteria, for use in animals to improve food safety by reducing pathogenic bacteria in the food chain and reducing foodborne infections. We are also looking to use competitive exclusion in humans to combat bacterial infections. This, alongside other work in our group identifying and characterising novel antimicrobials, could help overcome the rise of antimicrobial resistance by reducing the need for antibiotics.
We use a combination of techniques, including in vitro colon models, tissue culture, metagenomics, metabolomics, to investigate methods of competitive exclusion, including biofilms, with the objective of designing probiotic strains with improved functionality. We also carry out human intervention and clinical trials.