Angela Cornelius

Doctor of Philosophy, (Veterinary Science)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Pangenome-guided Tools for Investigating the Role of Epsilonproteobacteria in Human Gastroenteritis

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The causative agent for many cases of human gastroenteritis remains unidentified. Ms Cornelius used whole genome sequences to better understand the genetic relatedness of strains of Campylobacter concisus, a suspected cause of human gastroenteritis, and to identify taxon-specific genes for a range of taxa (genera, species and sub-species groups) within the Epsilonproteobacteria bacterial class. This information was used to design a genetic test that simultaneously detects and differentiates 28 taxa within this bacterial class known and suspected of causing human gastroenteritis. The tool was successfully applied to a study investigating childhood gastroenteritis in Belgium and supported Campylobacter jejuni as the most common Epsilonproteobacterial cause of childhood gastroenteritis. In addition, the tool provided some evidence of an association between this illness and a genetically-distinct sub-group of Campylobacter concisus.

Professor Patrick Biggs
Dr Stephen On
Professor Olivier Vandenberg
Distinguished Professor Nigel French