Will Gaze recently hosted PhD student Katia Djenadi from Algeria for a collaborative project; below she has written an account of her stay:
From Algeria to United Kingdom: Algeria is a country located in North Africa giving on the Mediterranean Sea; it’s considered as the tenth largest country in the world with a varied climates and natural habitats harbouring a wide range wildlife, from a large Mediterranean coastline in the north to the Sahara desert in the south with a large areas of hills, mountains, valleys and plateaus in the middle. Many scientists work in this natural environment and collaborate with the pharmaceutical industry and agriculture. In addition, researchers study multidrug resistance of bacteria in hospitals and many other areas.Defined as a major problem in public health; antibiotic resistance has been investigated bacterial ecosystems. This resistance can be explained by bacterial acquisition of new resistance genes via mobile genetic elements. The presence of resistance genes and the development of multidrug resistance in the natural environment enthused us to carry out screening for the presence of Gram negatives multidrug bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics in aquatic and soil environments. In order to perform the molecular investigation and define the resistance mechanisms of a collection of multidrug resistant bacteria, collaboration was built with the University of Exeter Medical School (United Kingdom) in the Coastal Pathogen laboratory under supervision of William Gaze and Lihong Zhang.
Seventy days stay within the Coastal Pathogen Team, was an enjoyable experiences. I had a good opportunity to enrich my knowledge in new molecular techniques and perform relevant parts of our investigations. In order to study the resistance mechanisms of bacteria from the Algerian natural environment, characterized by high resistance to carbapenem antibiotics, we carried out transformation and conjugation methods. Species identification was carried out by sequencing 16S rRNA genes after DNA extraction using a biology molecular kit and PCR amplification. Clones that initially showed carbapenem resistance will be sequenced and the genes identified by sequence analysis. At the end, I hope that the hard work undertaken within the Coastal Pathogen laboratory will crowned with success helping me to complete my PhD and result in a collaborative paper.
The Coastal Pathogen staff were very helpful, attentive and generous. I really appreciate working and being with them. Sightseeing Cornwall and London was a great opportunity for me to admire the wonderful region of Falmouth “Gylly beach” and the beautiful green space and rivers in the south of England and London such as the Royal Parks, Hyde Park and without forgetting places such as the Natural History Museum. This agreeable stay was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to discover British culture and building new friendships. It was an incredible experience.