The Public Health and Infections group brings together infectious disease scientists with expertise in bacteriology, virology, mycology and tick-borne disease. Together and in collaboration with clinical partners, we carry out high impact research into clinically relevant diseases of public health concern. Our shared expertise also allows us to study emerging pathogens, with a particular focus on the role of the environment in infection transmission.

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From the clinic to the bench and back

Microbial biofilms in infectious disease: Dr Ryan Kean is a PI of the Glasgow Biofilm Research Network and member of the ESCMID Study Group for Biofilms with these multidisciplinary research groups aiming to understand the mechanisms underlying microbial biofilm formation and translating these findings into managing these complex infections. Dr Kean has a currently funded project by the Oral and Dental Research Trust investigating the interactions of polymicrobial biofilms and endodontic stem cell differentiation.

Control measures and transmission dynamics in bacteria and fungi nosocomial infections: Dr John Butcher and Dr Ryan Kean are members of the microbiology work stream of the Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) research group Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention where they investigate microbial transmission in the nosocomial environment and infection prevention and control strategies to combat this. They have received funding from Interface and work collaboratively with Insite specialist services to assess the efficacy of novel decontamination systems.

Dr Claire Crossan, in association with Université catholique de Louvain and Xenothera Ltd, and Prof Linda Scobie are involved in preventing animal derived infections from pharmaceuticals. Prof Scobie is the consultant virologist on the Safety review committee for clinical trials involving the use of porcine skin to treat extensive burns. This work is being done with Xenotherapeutics Ltd based in the US. In addition, Dr Claire Crossan has received funding from Tenovus Scotland to investigate the impact of Hepatitis E in people infected with Hepatitis C. Hepatitis E virus is an emerging pathogen in the UK, and this work complements that of Prof Scobie looking at foodborne risks.

Dr Janice Spencer is involved in research looking at the 'The microbiome in the severity of diabetic foot ulcers' and 'The anti-microbial potential of novel products' in conjunction with NHS Lanarkshire and Dr Stephanie Dancer.

The pathogens of tomorrow

Investigating the pathogenicity of the emerging fungal pathogen Candida auris: Candida auris has spontaneously emerged in the last decade as a global health concern and was recently categorised by the CDC as an urgent antimicrobial resistance threat. Dr Ryan Kean investigates the mechanisms employed by this pathogen which allow it to resist antifungal therapies and assesses the efficacy of novel antimicrobials against this organism.

Prof Linda Scobie is currently funded by Food Standards Agency studying the Emerging foodborne infection, Hepatitis E virus and food security.  The risks associated with food and elimination of the virus by specific cooking temperatures and the development of standard extraction methods is being carried out in conjunction with Campden BRI, University of Strathclyde and Jorvik Food Safety Services.

Incidence of tick-borne pathogens in Scotland - Dr Paul Baker

One health: infections originating at the interface of humans, animals and the environment

Dr Janice Spencer - The impact of the environment on microbial transmission and pathogenicity and Waste water treatment plants and contamination with antimicrobial resistant organisms.

In conjunction with MVD Diagnostics LtdProfessor Linda Scobie is funded by Interface investigating the role of infection of Bovine Immunodeficiency virus (BIV) on the diagnosis of bovine Tuberculosis. This work impacts the Sustainable Development Goals associated with Healthy Lives and Sustainable environments. 

Mapping tick-borne pathogens to wild and companion animals - Dr Paul Baker

Professor Linda Scobie is the consultant virologist on the Safety review committee for clinical trials involving the use of porcine skin to treat extensive burns. This work is being done with Xenotherapeutics Ltd based in the US.

As a group and as individual investigators, we regularly collaborate with partners from clinics, academia and industry, and we welcome contact from any potential new collaborators.

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