Dr Jonathan Shaw
Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
Reader in Microbiology
+44 114 215 9553
Full contact details
Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
I am a Reader in Microbiology in the Department of Infection and Immunity. After finishing my PhD in 1991, I undertook two short post-doctoral positions in Sheffield and Canada before joining the Medical School in 1993 as an Independent Research Fellow.
- Research interests
The major direction behind the research in my laboratory is the understanding of bacterial pathogenesis at a molecular and mechanistic level, in relation to colonisation factors, secreted products and physiology.
Studies into the pathogenesis and physiology of the pathogenic Neisseria
Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of bacterial meningitis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea. Although quite a lot is known about these organism's virulence factors, there is very little information available about these organism's carbon metabolism. We are investigating the growth and metabolic characteristics of the pathogenic Neisseria through the use of 13C-NMR and enzyme assays, with the emphasis on growth on lactate. This will enable us to find out what metabolic pathways the organism’s uses in CSF (in vivo) and find out if any unique enzymes are present which can be rationally targeted for antimicrobial therapy.
The role of these pathways in the organism’s pathogenesis are also being considered. We are also investigating the role of the lysine acetylation and investigating the role of the neisserial acetylome on antibiotic resistance and pathogenesis. These projects are in collaboration with Christoph Tang and Rachel Exley at Oxford University.
Use of Aeromonas species as model systems for bacterial colonisation, environmental adaptation and protein glycosylation
Aeromonas spp. are an increasingly important cause of gastro-enteritis and wound infections, with A. caviae being important in the causation of paediatric diarrhoea. However, there is little known about the pathogenicity determinants of this organism.
Some strains of Aeromonas express two distinct flagella systems, a polar flagellum for swimming in liquid environments and many lateral flagella for swarming over surfaces, both are involved in colonisation. Possession of two types of flagella provides a natural reporter system for investigating how bacteria sense surfaces, or for dissecting the bacterial sense of touch.
We are also interested in the genetic cross-talk between the flagellar systems and the type 3 secretion systems (T3SS). In addition to novel effector proteins secreted by the T3SS.
Aeromonas glycosylates its flagellum with the sugar pseudaminic acid, this is essential for flagellar filament assembly and motility. This sugar is also found on the flagellin proteins of Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori. We are elucidating the flagellar glycosylation process at the molecular level. We are interested in developing sugar analogues to inhibit the glycosylation process that could possibly be used as a novel form of anti-microbial therapy. These projects are in collaboration with Graham Stafford of the Dental School, Simon Jones in Chemistry and the Universities of Barcelona and Tasmania.
Interactions of Burkholderia with eukaryotic cells
In collaboration with Dr M Thomas (Sheffield) we are using genetic means such as IVET and mutagenesis to investigate the mechanism of how Burkholderia interacts with host cells via its type VI secretion system.
- Maf-dependent bacterial flagellin glycosylation occurs before chaperone binding and flagellar T3SS export.. Mol Microbiol, 92(2), 258-272. View this article in WRRO
- Bundle-forming pilus locus of Aeromonas veronii bv. Sobria.. Infect Immun, 80(4), 1351-1360.
- Identification of a putative glycosyltransferase responsible for the transfer of pseudaminic acid onto the polar flagellin of Aeromonas caviae Sch3N. MicrobiologyOpen, 1, 149-160. View this article in WRRO
- Transcriptional Hierarchy of Aeromonas hydrophila Polar-Flagellum Genes. J BACTERIOL, 193(19), 5179-5190.
- Aeromonas spp. clinical microbiology and disease.. J Infect, 62(2), 109-118.
- Modulation of Shigella virulence in response to available oxygen in vivo. NATURE, 465(7296), 355-U113.
- An Aeromonas caviae genomic island is required for both O-antigen lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and flagellin glycosylation.. J Bacteriol, 191(8), 2851-2863.
- In vivo expression technology identifies a type VI secretion system locus in Burkholderia pseudomallei that is induced upon invasion of macrophages.. Microbiology, 153(Pt 8), 2689-2699.
- Genome sequence of Aeromonas hydrophila ATCC 7966(T): Jack of all trades. J BACTERIOL, 188(23), 8272-8282.
- Available carbon source influences the resistance of Neisseria meningitidis against complement. J EXP MED, 201(10), 1637-1645. View this article in WRRO
- Aeromonas flagella (polar and lateral) are enterocyte adhesins that contribute to biofilm formation on surfaces. INFECT IMMUN, 72(4), 1939-1945.
- Lateral flagella of Aeromonas species are essential for epithelial cell adherence and biofilm formation. MOL MICROBIOL, 43(2), 383-397.
- Motility and the polar flagellum are required for Aeromonas caviae adherence to HEp-2 cells.. Infect Immun, 69(7), 4257-4267.
- An NMR and enzyme study of the carbon metabolism of Neisseria meningitidis.. Microbiology, 147(Pt 6), 1473-1482.
- Teaching interests
I am heavily involved in the M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine, M.Sc. Genomic Medicine, and I also teach on the Medicine, Dental, M.Sc Antimicrobial resistance and Orthoptics courses.
- Professional activities
I was previously on the Prokaryotic Division of the Microbiology Society (UK) and on the editorial board of the journal Microbiology for eight years.
I am currently an associate editor for MicrobiologyOpen, Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology and the journal Virulence.