PhD Projects 2007
Establishment of selective media and the use of OD readings for the enumeration of bacterial contamination of poultry carcasses. (Student - T. Banda with co-supervision of Prof B.C. Viljoen). In this project, the objective is to establish rapid and sensitive methods to determine bacterial contamination levels on poultry carcasses using different selective media and optical density readings. The findings of this project can be used to ensure the quality of poultry meat which is sold in the market.
Establishment of a DNA vaccine against Beak and Feather disease virus (Student - K. Kondiah In this project the genetic diversity of Beak and feather disease virus in South Africa has been studied. The expression of the coat protein gene of the virus in various expression systems has been established. The main objective of this is the development of a reliable diagnostic technique which can be used for the evaluation of vaccines. The final objective of this project is the development of a DNA vaccine to control the disease. with co-supervision of Prof J. Albertyn).
Development of a live Infectious coryza vaccine (Student - Y. Roodt : Main supervisor Prof J Albertyn). The objective of this project is to investigate various options to develop a live vaccine for the control of infectious coryza. She is also investigating the NAD independent plasmid as well as investigations into the genome sequencing of Avibacterium paragallinarum.
Evaluation of genes involved with infectious coryza through examination of the poultry genome using microarray technology (Student - C.E. Boucher – with co-supervision of Prof Patterton). In this project the gene expression in poultry suffering from infectious coryza will be investigated using Microarray technology. This will increase our understanding of the pathways involved in the development of disease in birds. In her Masters degree she investigated the possibilities of using poultry viruses for the treatment of cancer.
Development of a cell culture based Clamydia vaccine to prevent abortions in sheep (Student - B. von Tiechmann). The objective of this project is to improve the production and efficacy of Clamydia vaccines for the control of abortions in sheep. This is a project which is being conducted at Onderstepoort Biological Products in Pretoria.
Investigations into the incidence and mechanisms of resistance to quaterinary ammonia compound disinfectants in bacteria (student – A. Jansen). The objectives of this project is to investigate the development of resistance to QAC disinfectants at the genetic and phenotypic level. The mechanisms involvded in the development of resistance will be investigated with the main aim of preventing increased levels of resistance to disinfectants.
Masters Projects 2006
Isolation and identification of unknown poultry viruses (Student - J-Y. Lee). This project involves the genetic, antigenic and morphological characterization of unknown viruses isolated from poultry. These viruses were originally through to be Newcastle Disease virus, but did not show HA activity and did not react in the ND specific PCR test.
Isolation, characterization and vaccine development against Psittacine Adenovirus (Student - N. Mfenyana). Adenovirus infection appears to be a serious problem in African species of parrots. The objectives of this project is to isolate and characterize the virus, development of diagnostic techniques with the eventual aim of the development of a vaccine to control the disease. She has been successful in isolating the virus in embryonated chicken eggs and is currently involved with the molecular and morphological charactization of the virus.
Development of a panel of monoclonal antibodies against Avibacterium paragallinarum (Student - I. Sebata). A panel of monoclonal antibodies are required to assist in the development of techniques to improve the serological characterization of A. paragallinarum. These antibodies are also required for the development of a reliable diagnostic test to detect serovar specific antibodies in vaccinated poultry.
Investigation of the use of bacteriophages for the control of bacterial infections in poultry (K. Kakoma). With the increasing problems associated with antibiotic resistance and the increasing pressure on finding alternatives to antibiotics to control bacterial infectious in poultry, the spotlight is again slowly turning towards the use bacteriophages for this task. In this project bacteriophages will be isolated and characterized and then will be used to treat infected chickens.
Antigenic diversity studies on Beak and feather disease virus expressed in insect cell culture and bacterial expression systems. (Student - A. Hattingh). In previous studies on the virus, a substantial amount of genetic diversity in the Beak and feather disease virus has been detected. Before final decisions can be made on the strain of virus to use in a vaccine, some understanding of possible antigenic diversity needs to be investigated. As the virus cannot be cultivated, we need to express the coat protein of the virus to study the antigenicity of the virus.
Evaluation of the molecular diversity of South African strains of Mycoplasma gallisepticum (Student - H. Mathengtheng). Mycoplasma gallisepticium is a serious problem in the poultry industry in South Africa. This is the first investigation of the genetic diversity of the bacterium in South Africa. The incidence of the very closely related M. immitans will also be investigated.
Last updated: 29 November 2010 15:21