Dr Katie Sealey

Dr Katie Sealey

Research Fellow in Microbiology

School of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Health)



Postdoctoral Researcher


2018-present PostDoc in Vaccine Development and Antimicrobial Resistance Control, University of Plymouth, The Vaccine Group

2015-2018 Clinical Scientist in Microbiology, National School of Healthcare Science

2015-2018 MSc in Infection Science, Queen Mary University

2012-2015 PhD in Bacterial Evolution and Genomics, University of Bath

2010-2011 MRes in Parasite Evolution and Genomics, Kingston University and Natural History Museum

2006-2009 BSc (Hons) in Biology, achieved first class, Kingston University

Professional membership

  • Member of BactiVac



Research interests

My main research interests include vaccine development, antimicrobial resistance, microbial evolution and molecular genomics. Studying within these fields is fundamental in developing effective vaccines that will help to reduce antibiotic consumption and resistance.

Currently, I am carrying out a post-doctoral research post in collaboration with The Vaccine Group and Chinese partners SHRVI, SJTU and PLK. This project aims to develop an attenuated bovine herpesvirus-4 vaccine to control Streptococcus suis infection in domestic pigs. S. suis is a major pig pathogen in the swine industry and has become a rapidly emerging zoonotic agent. Consequently, antibiotic usage is extremely high in pig farming which has contributed to anti-microbial resistance in both pig and human isolates. Thus, there is a need for an effective vaccine against all 35 serotypes of S. suis. My current work focuses on using Reverse Vaccinology approaches to identify key vaccine candidate antigens that will induce high levels of immunity in ruminant and non-ruminant livestock species, potentially representing an effective and inexpensive means of control against the 35 different serotypes of S. suis.

Other research

I have previously completed the following research projects:

  • "The Interaction between gastric acidity and nitrite content on its bactericidal activity towards Clostridium difficile." (MSc 2017-2018)
  • "Is the circulating UK Bordetella pertussis population evolving to evade vaccine-induced immunity?" (PhD 2012-2015)
  • "Molecular Evolution and Ecology of Parasite/Host interactions in Schistosoma species." (MRes 2010-2011)
  • "The Phosphorylation State of a PKC α-like Protein During Cell Adhesion in Lymnaea stagnalis Haemocytes."(Undergraduate dissertation project: 2008-2009) 



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, 136-143.

Sealey, KL., Harris, SR., Fry, NK., Hurst, LD., Gorringe, AR., Parkhill, J. and. Preston, A. (2014) Genomic analysis of isolated from the United Kingdom 2012 Pertussis outbreak reveals that vaccine antigen genes are unusually fast evolving. J Infect Dis, doi: 10.1092/infdis/jiu665

Vaughan, TE., Pratt, CB., Sealey, KL., Preston, A., Fry, NK. and Gorringe., AR. (2014) Plasticity of fimbrial genotype and serotype within populations of Bordetella pertussis: analysis by paired flow cytometry and genome sequencing. Microbiology, 160 (9), 2030/2044.

Sealey, KL., Kirk, RS., Walker, AJ., Rollinson., D. and Lawton., SP. (2012) Adaptive Radiation within the vaccine target tetraspanin-23 across nine Schistosoma species from Africa. Int J Parasitol, 43 (1), 95-103.

Walker, AJ., Lacchini, AH., Sealey, KL., Mackintosh, D. and Davis, AJ. (2010) Spreading by snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) defence cells is regulated through integrated PKC, FAK and Src signalling. Cell and Tissue Research, 341 (1), 131-145.