Dr Caray A Walker


Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Life Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Life sciences

Caray is a lecturer in microbiology and her primary research interests are in the pathogenesis of important bacterial animal pathogens and in particular zoonoses.



Caray’s research focuses on the mechanisms used by these bacteria to establish infection. Particular emphasis is on how environmental factors, such as iron, regulate gene expression and the importance of these mechanisms in the infection process. How these mechanisms can be exploited for use as novel vaccines and diagnostic test candidates is also a feature of her research.

Caray has a particular interest in Corynebacterium, Streptococcus and Mycoplasma genera of bacteria. The genus Corynebacterium includes several pathogens for example: Corynebacterium diphtheriae (the causative agent of diphtheria), Corynebacterium ulcerans (an emerging zoonotic pathogen) and Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (causative agent of caseous lymphadenitis in livestock, as well as ulcerative lymphangitis in horses and lymphadenitis in humans). Of the Streptococcus and Mycoplasma genera Caray’s research is focussed on the important animal pathogens S. suis, S. equi subsp zooepidemicus (both zoonoses) and Mycoplasma cynos (a pathogen of dogs).

Research interests

  • Pathogenesis of bacterial diseases of animals, particularly zoonoses.
  • Modulation of gene expression by environmental factors such as iron.
  • Identification of putative virulence genes
  • Virulence gene mutagenesis
  • Infection models
  • Vaccinology
  • Prevalence of new and emerging bacterial pathogens of animals, in particular zoonoses

Areas of research supervision

  • PhD supervisor – Project entitled: Analysis of the DtxR global regulon of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis


BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
Module Leader for General Microbiology
Module Leader for Microbial Pathogenicity

MSc Biomedical Science (Distance Learning)
Module Leader for Molecular and Serological Diagnosis of Microbial Infection
Module Leader for Principles of Medical Microbiology and Pathogenesis
Module Leader for Epidemiology and the Control of Infectious Diseases
Module Leader for Medical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Action


PhD Molecular Bacteriology, University of Glasgow and Moredun Research Institute
MSc by Research in Veterinary Diagnostics, University of Edinburgh
BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth

Memberships, editorial boards

Member of Society of General Microbiology
Member of American Society of Microbiology

Selected recent publications

Priestnall, S.L. Mitchell, J.A. Walker, C.A, Erles, K. and Brownlie, J., 2014. New and Emerging Pathogens in Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease. Veterinary Pathology, Mar:51(2), pp.492-504.

Walker, C.A. Mannering, S.A. Shields, S. Blake D.P. and Brownlie J., 2013. Complete Genome Sequence of Mycoplasma cynos strain C142. Genome Announcements, Jan: 1(1). pii: e00196-12.

Walker, C.A. Donachie, W., Smith, D.G.E and Fontaine, M.C., 2011. Targeted allele-replacement mutagenesis of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(10), pp.3532-5.

May, J.P., Walker, C.A. Maskell, D.J. and Slater, J.D., 2004. Development of an in vivo Himar1 transposon mutagenesis system for use in Streptococcus equi subsp. equi. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 238, pp.401-409.