PhD Studentship: Zoonotic Transmission of Genotype 3 Hepatitis E Virus through the Aquatic Environment in the UK

University of Exeter - College of Life and Environmental Science

Main supervisor: Dr Lisa Cross (CEFAS), Dr Lena Bayer-Wilfert (University of Exeter)

This project will address whether the aquatic environment plays a role in the transmission of HEV from the UK commercial pig herd to humans. It will test the potential for pigs-to-human transmission via the consumption of contaminated shellfish or recreational water exposure. The project will optimise the molecular detection and quantitation of HEV, which will be used on a comprehensive panel of shellfish and environmental samples to determine risk factors for zoonotic disease transmission. We will use phylogenetic methods to infer geographic and host origins of HEV to identify the main transmission routes, ultimately testing whether environmental transmission of HEV via shellfish poses a risk to food safety. This project thus aims to ultimately assist in the formation of ISO methods for the detection of HEV, to assess the risk of environmental zoonotic HEV transmission and to highlight key risk mitigation intervention points. 

For the full project description and how to apply please click the 'apply' link below.

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South West England