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Research Fellows Directory

Zhiyong Zong

Dr Zhiyong Zong

Research Fellow


University of Birmingham

Research summary

I lead a research group for studying bacterial pathogens and antimicrobial resistance focusing on the Enterobacteriaceae (particularly carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, CRE), Acinetobacter spp. and Clostridium difficile. We are using whole-genome sequencing approach combined with traditional lab methods such as cloning, plasmid typing and hybridisation to study the epidemiology of bacterial pathogens, investigate outbreaks and characterise resistant genes and their genetic contexts. By analysing the data generated, we could understand the emergence, evolution and divergence of bacterial pathogens of clinical significance and could reveal the mechanisms mediating the spread of resistance genes. In addition, our group focuses on the etiology of infection in clinical cases such as culture-negative endocarditis and severe pneumonia without known pathogens. We are using meta-genomics to investigate the etiology for cases whose pathogens are not identified by routine methods including cultures, antigen-antibody tests, biomarker examinations and molecular methods. Our studies are mainly funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

Our group has long-term cooperation with Dr. Alan McNally in Nottingham Trent University, UK in characterising the genomic epidemiology of certain Enterobacteriaceae such as ST131 E. coli and carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella and their plasmids. Our cooperation have been funded by joint schemes of Royal Society and NSFC.

Grants awarded

Tracking the transmission of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in a hospital setting by whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Mar 2016 - Mar 2019

Value: £92,100

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