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Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) is a major bacterial pathogen listed as an urgent threat to human health by the WHO.

‘Classical’ strains of Kp are associated with high levels of drug resistance and predominantly infect immunocompromised individuals, whereas ‘hypervirulent’ strains cause serious metastatic infections in the community.

The Wanford lab employs genomic, and wet lab infection biology techniques to study: (1) how Kp regulate expression of its major virulence factor, a slimy layer surrounding the pathogen called the polysaccharide capsule, and (2) how both the capsule and other accessory genes modulate interaction of Kp with host cells.