Molly McDonald

MBiochem final year student

The Strep Gene Project



For my 4th year research project, I am investigating how certain SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) may affect susceptibility to bacterial infection by Streptococcus group A. SNPs represent small variations in the genomes and have varying frequencies within a population. Generally, the rarer a variant, the more likely it is to cause disease, and for my project I will be looking at some candidate variants that may cause necrotising fasciitis, often referred to as a ‘flesh-eating bug’.

Previous bioinformatics studies within the group have identified a number of variants of interest, many of which are located in genes encoding proteins of the extracellular matrix. It is these variants that I will take forward to study, using a variety of genetic, informatic and experimental methods to determine their candidacy as a causal variant.