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Pathogen Biology and Evolution

Evolution is a key aspect of the biology of many pathogens, driving processes ranging from immune escape to changes in virulence. Pathogens exhibit remarkable abilities to out-manoeuvre therapeutic intervention. This outcome is driven by evolution, either as a direct response to intervention (e.g. the evolution of antibiotic resistance), or through long-term co-evolution generating host or parasite traits that interact with therapy in undesirable or unpredictable ways. To make progress, here at Cambridge our researchers are integrating the concepts and techniques of evolutionary biology with traditional approaches to immunology and pathogen biology. An interdisciplinary approach can inform control strategies, or even patient treatment, positioning us to meet the current and future challenges of controlling infectious diseases.

Explore Campus 

Research groups are found across several university departments and local research institutes, and include:

People specializing in this area

Cambridge researchers are working with leading Georgian scientists to address key questions about the ecology and evolution of avian flu.

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New research suggests animal-to-human transmission of MRSA

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New study shows how Salmonella colonises the gut

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Fingerprint of a killer

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The worm that turned east

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Lethal weapon: bacteria’s high-risk suicide strategy

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New study sheds light on how Salmonella spreads in the body

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Bacterial DNA sequence used to map an infection outbreak

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Viruses evolve mechanism to prevent bacteria from committing suicide

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Melioidosis: exposing the ‘Great Mimicker’

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Scientists discover ‘switch’ that turns on aggressive infection in superbug

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Avian flu viruses which are transmissible between humans could evolve in nature

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Technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields results that makes our hearts sing" 

Steve Jobs talking about Apple.