Shoukai Yu

Doctor of Philosophy, (Statistical Genetics)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The Evolution of Campylobacter

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The genus Campylobacter is a major cause of human gastroenteritis worldwide; therefore, understanding the evolution of Campylobacter has important implications. This research investigated some fundamental questions regarding how fast the bacteria evolve, the geographical isolation effect on the evolution of the bacteria, and the evolutionary mechanism ofCampylobacter. A mathematical method is put forward to examine the effect of recombination and mutation. The study highlighted the importance of recombination relative to mutation, and provided evidence that the geographical isolation effect on the evolution of Campylobacter exists over short time-scales, but that this effect diminishes over longer time-scales. Campylobacter jejuni strain type 474 (ST-474) is a sequence type commonly found in NZ, but rarely found outside New Zealand. The clonal relationships of ST-474 strains were also investigated. Results have implications for developing disease intervention strategies, predicting the emergence of pathogens, and reducing the occurrence of campylobacteriosis in the food supply chain.

Distinguished Professor Nigel French
Dr Grant Hotter
Professor Paul Fearnhead
Dr Barbara Holland
Professor Patrick Biggs