• Victoria Rimmer

Student thesis: Phd


Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause ocular surface infections such as keratitis, a sight-threatening inflammation of the cornea, particularly in contact lens wearers. To effectively model ocular surface infections, is important to first understand interactions between components of the ocular surface environment such as the cornea, tear film, commensal microbiota, invading pathogens, and factors such as contact lens wear. Investigations presented in this doctoral thesis represent a series of related but distinct studies designed to contribute to the further understanding of these interactions, with the ultimate aim of developing a representative in vitro model of the cornea and ocular surface for infection studies. To characterise the microbiome of contact lens wearers and non-contact lens wearers, tear fluid was collected using a microcapillary technique and analysed by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing. Genera such as Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium and Propionibacterium were found to have the highest relative abundance across samples. Pseudomonas had higher relative abundance in contact lens wearers, with a specific operational taxonomic unit (OTU) found to be significantly higher relative abundance following DESeq2 analysis. Following the characterisation of the microbiome, the effects of antimicrobial tear proteins, such as lysozyme and lactoferrin, on the growth and virulence phenotype of novel clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa were investigated. The addition of proteins to cultures in complex media significantly decreased carrying capacity (P
Date of Award31 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCurtis Dobson (Supervisor), Philip Morgan (Supervisor), Carole Maldonado-Codina (Supervisor) & Andrew Mcbain (Supervisor)


  • Antimicrobial
  • Microbiome
  • Tear film
  • Contact Lens
  • Biofilm
  • Ocular Surface
  • Cornea
  • Keratitis
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Cite this