Department of Biology & Biochemistry



4 South 1.16


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386318


Dr Andrew Preston


Research in the group is in the broad area of bacterial pathogenesis. In particular our work is focused on the genus Bordetella. This group includes important pathogens of humans and animal, notably the main causative agent of Whooping Cough, B. pertussis. It also includes non-pathogenic, environmental species and some species for which the reservoirs are unclear and their true pathogenic nature is unknown.

Our studies encompass fundmental investigations of bacterial factors important to the infection biology of these bacteria, with an emphasis on surface polysaccharides such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS); more applied projects such as defining Bordetella metabolism with the aim of improving in vitro culture processes for vaccine production and elucidation of the evolutionary relationships between these and other bacteria.

Infection Biology

We have defined structure function relationships for many of the different regions of Bordetella LPS, including the role of the Band A trisaccharide and O polysaccharide in infection and immunity. We continue to investigate the genetic basis for LPS biosynthesis among the Bordetella and use this information to make defined genetic mutants whose phenotypes reveal the role of particular structures in infection.

Collaborators: Dr Eric Harvill, Penn State University, USA; Dr Bob Ernst, University of Baltimore-Maryland, USA.


We are generating genome-scale metabolic models for B. pertussis metabolism with the aim of improving on current culture methods for use in biotechnology and vaccine production. This work combines mathematical modeling with wet lab studies, in cycles of model validation and refinement.

Collaborators: Dr Caroline Colijn, Imperial College, London; Dr Philippe Dehottay & Dr Philippe Goffin, GSK Biologicals, Rixensaart, Belgium.


We have a long standing involvement of generating and analysing genome sequences for the bordetellae. We are currently involved in a large scale analysis of the global population structure of B. pertussis, focused analysis of current UK B. pertussis strains and evolutionary relationships between all members of the genus.

Collaborators: Simon Harris & Julian Parkhill, Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK; Dr Eric Harvill, Penn State University, USA.


Linz, B., Ivanov, Y. V., Preston, A., Brinkac, L., Parkhill, J., Kim, M., Harris, S. R., Goodfield, L. L., Fry, N. K., Gorringe, A. R., Nicholson, T. L., Register, K. B., Losada, L. and Harvill, E. T., 2016. Acquisition and loss of virulence-associated factors during genome evolution and speciation in three clades of Bordetella species. BMC Genomics, 17 (1), 767.

Sealey, K. L., Belcher, T. and Preston, A., 2016. Bordetella pertussis epidemiology and evolution in the light of pertussis resurgence. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 40, pp. 136-143.

Preston, A., 2016. The role of B. pertussis vaccine antigen gene variants in pertussis resurgence and possible consequences for vaccine development. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, 12 (5), pp. 1274-1276.

Belcher, T. and Preston, A., 2015. Bordetella pertussis evolution in the (functional) genomics era. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 73 (8).

Sealey, K. L., Harris, S. R., Fry, N. K., Hurst, L. D., Gorringe, A. R., Parkhill, J. and Preston, A., 2015. Genomic analysis of isolates from the United Kingdom 2012 pertussis outbreak reveals that vaccine antigen genes are unusually fast evolving. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212 (2), pp. 294-301.

Hittle, L. E., Jones, J. W., Hajjar, A. M., Ernst, R. K. and Preston, A., 2015. Bordetella parapertussis PagP mediates the addition of two palmitates to the lipopolysaccharide lipid A. Journal of Bacteriology, 197 (3), pp. 572-580.

Bagby, S., Jain, M., Olsen, H., Preston, A. and Akeson, M., 2015. Use of MinION data to assemble the 67% GC genome sequence of Bordetella pertussis. In: Genome Science, 2015-09-07 - 2015-09-09, University of Birmingham.

Vaughan, T. E., Pratt, C. B., Sealey, K., Preston, A., Fry, N. K. and Gorringe, A. R., 2014. Plasticity of fimbrial genotype and serotype within populations of Bordetella pertussis:analysis by paired flow cytometry and genome sequencing. Microbiology, 160 (9), pp. 2030-2044.

Bart, M. J., Harris, S. R., Advani, A., Arakawa, Y., Bottero, D., Bouchez, V., Cassiday, P. K., Chiang, C.-S., Dalby, T., Fry, N. K., Gaillard, M. E., van Gent, M., Guiso, N., Hallander, H. O., Harvill, E. T., He, Q., van der Heide, H. G. J., Heuvelman, K., Hozbor, D. F., Kamachi, K., Karataev, G. I., Lan, R., Lutyłska, A., Maharjan, R. P., Mertsola, J., Miyamura, T., Octavia, S., Preston, A., Quail, M. A., Sintchenko, V., Stefanelli, P., Tondella, M. L., Tsang, R. S. W., Xu, Y., Yao, S.-M., Zhang, S., Parkhill, J. and Mooi, F. R., 2014. Global population structure and evolution of Bordetella pertussis and their relationship with vaccination. mBio, 5 (2), e01074-14.

Rolin, O., Muse, S. J., Safi, C., Elahi, S., Gerdts, V., Hittle, L. E., Ernst, R. K., Harvill, E. T. and Preston, A., 2014. Enzymatic modification of lipid A by ArnT protects Bordetella bronchiseptica against cationic peptides and is required for transmission. Infection and immunity, 82 (2), pp. 491-499.

Hester, S. E., Park, J., Goodfield, L. L., Feaga, H. A., Preston, A. and Harvill, E. T., 2013. Horizontally acquired divergent O-antigen contributes to escape from cross-immunity in the classical bordetellae. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13 (1), 209.

Hauser, H., Richter, D. C., van Tonder, A., Clark, L. and Preston, A., 2012. Comparative genomic analyses of the Taylorellae. Veterinary Microbiology, 159 (1-2), pp. 195-203.

MacArthur, I., Jones, J. W., Goodlett, D. R., Ernst, R. K. and Preston, A., 2011. Role of pagL and lpxO in Bordetella bronchiseptica lipid A biosynthesis. Journal of Bacteriology, 193 (18), pp. 4726-4735.

Loker, S. B., Temple, L. M. and Preston, A., 2011. The Bordetella avium BAV1965-1962 fimbrial locus is regulated by temperature and produces fimbriae involved in adherence to turkey tracheal tissue. Infection and Immunity, 79 (6), pp. 2423-2429.

Kubler-Kielb, J., Vinogradov, E., Lagergård, T., Ginzberg, A., King, J. D., Preston, A., Maskell, D. J., Pozsgay, V., Keith, J. M., Robbins, J. B. and Schneerson, R., 2011. Oligosaccharide conjugates of Bordetella pertussis and bronchiseptica induce bactericidal antibodies, an addition to pertussis vaccine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108 (10), pp. 4087-4092.

Vinogradov, E., King, J. D., Pathak, A. K., Harvill, E. T. and Preston, A., 2010. Antigenic variation among Bordetella: Bordetella bronchiseptica strain MO149 expresses a novel o chain that is poorly immunogenic. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285 (35), pp. 26869-26877.

King, J. D., Vinogradov, E., Preston, A., Li, J. and Maskell, D. J., 2009. Post-assembly modification of Bordetella bronchiseptica O polysaccharide by a novel periplasmic enzyme encoded by wbmE. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284 (3), pp. 1474-1483.

Rejzek, M., Sri Kannathasan, V., Wing, C., Preston, A., Westman, E. L., Lam, J. S., Naismith, J. H., Maskell, D. J. and Field, R. A., 2009. Chemical synthesis of UDP-Glc-2,3-diNAcA, a key intermediate in cell surface polysaccharide biosynthesis in the human respiratory pathogens B. pertussis and P. aeruginosa. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 7 (6), pp. 1203-1210.

Buboltz, A. M., Nicholson, T. L., Karanikas, A. T., Preston, A. and Harvill, E. T., 2009. Evidence for horizontal gene transfer of two antigenically distinct O antigens in Bordetella bronchiseptica. Infection and Immunity, 77 (8), pp. 3249-3257.

Zhang, X., Goebel, E. M., Rodríguez, M. E., Preston, A. and Harvill, E. T., 2009. The O antigen is a critical antigen for the development of a protective immune response to Bordetella parapertussis. Infection and Immunity, 77 (11), pp. 5050-5058.

Westman, E. L., Preston, A., Field, R. A. and Lam, J. S., 2008. Biosynthesis of a rare di-N-acetylated sugar in the lipopolysaccharides of both Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bordetella pertussis occurs via an identical scheme despite different gene clusters. Journal of Bacteriology, 190 (18), pp. 6060-6069.

This list was generated on Mon Mar 27 22:33:29 2017 IST.

View more publications »