Professor Katie Laird

Job: Professor of Microbiology, Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: Leicester School of Pharmacy

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8106

E: klaird@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

Social Media: twitter.com/katielaird

 

Personal profile

Prof Katie Laird is a Professor of Microbiology in the School of Pharmacy and Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group at De Montfort University. She has a BSc (Hons) in Biology and obtained a PhD in applied microbiology in 2008.

Her research is centred on the prevention of transmission of healthcare acquired infections including the development of novel antimicrobials. A particular focus of Prof Laird’s research is on the role of healthcare textiles as fomites, her research has raised international awareness of the risks to healthcare workers of incorrect laundering of uniforms. The research group she leads was the first to determine the stability of coronavirus on textiles during laundering; these findings informed global infection control policies in industrial laundries, thereby protecting laundry and healthcare workers. She has worked closely with world-leading brands and laundry trade bodies (UK, Europe and USA), securing significant funding to develop innovative and efficient approaches to combat the spread of pathogens via healthcare textiles. Prof Laird is currently developing an internationally-accepted test protocol which will transform the laundry industry globally through a united approach to validating

 She is also a founder of “A Germ's Journey” educational resources (www.germsjourney.com) teaching young children about health hygiene globally.

 

 

Research group affiliations

Infectious Disease Research Group

Publications and outputs

  • Stability of Human Coronavirus OC43 on Leather and Viral Transfer to Different Surfaces
    Stability of Human Coronavirus OC43 on Leather and Viral Transfer to Different Surfaces Shivkumar, Maitreyi; Adkin, Pat; Owen, Lucy; Patel, Jenish; Shantharamu, Usha; Goodyer, Larry; Laird, Katie Aims: This study aimed to investigate the stability of HCoV-OC43 on leather and transfer to other surfaces and to determine the antiviral activity of a silver-based leather coating. Methods and Results: The infectivity of HCoV-OC43 (6.6 log10 TCID50) on patent, nubuck, full-grain calf and corrected grain leathers (untreated and silver-coated) was measured over 72 hours by titration on BHK-21 cells. Recovery from pig skin (8-9 log10 TCID50) was also assessed. Transfer of infectious HCoV-OC43 from leather onto cardboard and stainless steel (0-48 hours post-inoculation) was quantified. HCoV-OC43 remained infectious for 6-48 hours on patent, finished and calf leathers; no infectious HCoV-OC43 was recovered from nubuck at 0 hours. Silver coating of full-grain calf and corrected grain leathers significantly reduced HCoV-OC43 infectivity (p≤0.05) after 2 hours, where no infectious virus was recovered. Transfer of HCoV-OC43 (≤3.1-5.5 log10) was detected from calf, finished and patent leather onto stainless steel and carboard up to 2 hours after inoculation, while no transfer was detected for silver-coated leathers at 2 hours. Leather has also been utilised as a skin surrogate for investigating fomite transmission. HCoV-OC43 was reduced by 4.71 log10 on pig skin at 0 hours, in a similar trend to highly absorbent nubuck leather. Conclusions: Human coronaviruses remain infectious on leather for up to 48 hours and transfer onto cardboard and stainless steel up to 2 hours post-inoculation. Absorbency contributes to the recovery/persistence of HCoV-OC43 on surfaces. A silver-based leather coating demonstrated antiviral activity and limited viral transfer onto other surfaces. Significance of Study: This investigation suggests that leather could pose a risk of indirect transmission of human coronaviruses; this is of significance for settings where there is close contact with leathers such as in manufacturing, retail and domestic environments. A silver-based leather coating demonstrated antiviral activity and limited viral transfer onto other surfaces, reducing the potential for indirect transmission from leathers. Shivkumar, M., Adkin, P., Owen, L., Patel, J., Shantharamu, U., Goodyer, L. and Laird, K. (2022) Stability of Human Coronavirus OC43 on Leather and Viral Transfer to Different Surfaces. SfAM Early Career Scientist Research Symposium, Cardiff, 20th June 2022.
  • Evaluation of Current Healthcare Laundry Hygiene Monitoring Methodologies
    Evaluation of Current Healthcare Laundry Hygiene Monitoring Methodologies Owen, Lucy; Laird, Katie Background Disease outbreaks in healthcare facilities (e.g., Bacillus cereus) have been linked to contaminated linen, highlighting the importance of decontamination of healthcare textiles and infection control measures to prevent recontamination. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised further concerns around textile hygiene. Methods for monitoring microbial kill during healthcare laundering and post-laundering contamination are not standardised across Europe, leading to potential variation in validation outputs. For example, EN14065 accreditation requires microbiological monitoring, however no standard method is prescribed. Microbial kill is commonly validated by laundering inoculated textiles. Post-laundering hygiene monitoring tests can be destructive (elution) or non-destructive (e.g., swabbing). This study aims to evaluate common methods for detection of microbial contamination on textiles and measuring kill during industrial laundering processes. Methods Recovery of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium or Bacillus cereus spores (108, 102 and 101 CFU/ml) from 100% cotton was evaluated using different elution buffers (phosphate buffered saline or maximum recovery diluent with and without polysorbate 80), agitation methods (vortexing, stomaching, shaking by hand or with glass beads) and recovery agar (selective or non-selective). Recovery was compared to swabbing, RODAC plates and dip slides. Survival of E. faecium during a cold industrial wash with and without detergent was compared between loose swatches and those enclosed within cloth bags. Results Recovery of all test species was significantly (p≤0.05) greater using elution methods than non-destructive methods, while RODAC plates and dip slides were unquantifiable at 108 CFU/ml. Recovery was not significantly different between elution buffers or recovery agar. Shaking by hand was generally marginally more precise and efficient in microbial recovery. E. faecium was significantly (p≤0.05) reduced by industrial laundering with and without detergent; there was no significant difference when enclosed in cloth bags. Conclusions Surface testing methods have limited sensitivity compared to elution methods, suggesting that destructive methods are most appropriate for hygiene monitoring of laundered healthcare textiles. Swatch testing is confounded by a loss of microorganisms to dilution and agitation in the wash; further tests need to be developed to monitor the kill of microorganisms in the wash in order to develop a standardised test methodology to be used throughout global industrial laundries. Owen, L. and Laird, K. (2022) Evaluation of Current Healthcare Laundry Hygiene Monitoring Methodologies. 32nd European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), April 2022, online [poster].
  • Healthcare worker knowledge and attitudes towards uniform laundering during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Healthcare worker knowledge and attitudes towards uniform laundering during the COVID-19 pandemic Owen, Lucy; Apps, Lindsay; Stanulewicz, Natalia; Hall, Andrew; Laird, Katie Background: The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns towards domestic laundering of healthcare worker (HCW) uniforms; this is common practice in countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) and United States. Previous research suggested 4-32% of nurses did not adhere to laundry policies, which could be an infection control risk. This study aimed to investigate the knowledge and attitudes of UK healthcare workers towards domestic laundering of uniforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Online and paper questionnaires were distributed to HCWs and nursing students who regularly wear uniforms. Differences in knowledge between HCWs were analysed by Chi-squared tests and attitudes were examined using exploratory factor analysis. Results: 86% of participants (n=1099 of 1277) laundered their uniforms domestically. Respondents were confident in laundering their uniforms appropriately (71%), however 17% failed to launder at the recommended temperature (60°C). Most participants (68%) would prefer their employer launder their uniforms, with mixed negative emotions towards domestic laundering. Limited provision of uniforms and changing/storage facilities were a barrier to following guidelines. Conclusion: Most HCWs domestically launder their uniforms, despite a preference for professional laundering. One-fifth of HCWs deviated from the UK National Health Service uniform guidelines; onsite changing facilities were the most significant barrier towards adherence. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Owen, L., Apps L., Stanulewicz, N., Hall, A. and Laird, K. (2021) Healthcare worker knowledge and attitudes towards uniform laundering during the COVID-19 pandemic. American Journal of Infection Control, 50 (5), pp. 525-535
  • Antiviral plant-derived natural products to combat RNA viruses: Targets throughout the viral life cycle
    Antiviral plant-derived natural products to combat RNA viruses: Targets throughout the viral life cycle Owen, Lucy; Laird, Katie; Shivkumar, Maitreyi There is need for new effective antivirals, particularly in response to the development of antiviral drug resistance and emerging RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Plants are a significant source of structurally diverse bioactive compounds for drug discovery suggesting that plant-derived natural products could be developed as antiviral agents. This article reviews the antiviral activity of plant-derived natural products against RNA viruses, with a focus on compounds targeting specific stages of the viral life cycle. A range of plant extracts and compounds have been identified with antiviral activity, often against multiple virus families suggesting they may be useful as broad-spectrum antiviral agents. The antiviral mechanism of action of many of these phytochemicals is not fully understood and there are limited studies and clinical trials demonstrating their efficacy and toxicity in vivo. Further research is needed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of plant-derived natural products as antiviral agents. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Owen, L., Laird, K. and Shivkumar, M. (2021) Antiviral plant‐derived natural products to combat RNA viruses: Targets throughout the viral life cycle. Letters in Applied Microbiology.
  • Porous surfaces: stability and recovery of coronaviruses
    Porous surfaces: stability and recovery of coronaviruses Owen, Lucy; Shivkumar, Maitreyi; Cross, Richard Barrie Michael; Laird, Katie The role of indirect contact in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is not clear. SARS-CoV-2 persists on dry surfaces for hours to days; published studies have largely focused on hard surfaces with less research being conducted on different porous surfaces, such as textiles. Understanding the potential risks of indirect transmission of COVID-19 is useful for settings where there is close contact with textiles, including healthcare, manufacturing and retail environments. This article aims to review current research on porous surfaces in relation to their potential as fomites of coronaviruses compared to non-porous surfaces. Current methodologies for assessing the stability and recovery of coronaviruses from surfaces are also explored. Coronaviruses are often less stable on porous surfaces than non-porous surfaces, for example, SARS-CoV-2 persists for 0.5 h–5 days on paper and 3–21 days on plastic; however, stability is dependent on the type of surface. In particular, the surface properties of textiles differ widely depending on their construction, leading to variation in the stability of coronaviruses, with longer persistence on more hydrophobic materials such as polyester (1–3 days) compared to highly absorbent cotton (2 h–4 days). These findings should be considered where there is close contact with potentially contaminated textiles. open access article Owen, L., Shivkumar, M., Cross, R.B.M. and Laird, K. (2021) Porous surfaces: stability and recovery of coronaviruses. Interface Focus, 12: 20210039
  • Disinfection of laundry using low temperature validated ozone system, OTEX, against human coronavirus HCoV-OC43
    Disinfection of laundry using low temperature validated ozone system, OTEX, against human coronavirus HCoV-OC43 Owen, Lucy; Cripwell, Lucy; Hook, Jackie; Shivkumar, Maitreyi; Laird, Katie Introduction: The survival of the COVID-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on textiles during laundering and in the presence of ozone is not well understood. In this study, the stability of a model human coronavirus (HCoV-OC43), on cotton textiles laundered using the OTEX validated ozone disinfection system was investigated. Method: Samples of cotton were contaminated with HCoV-OC43 and then washed using the Foul and Infected (40°C) cycle with laundry detergent and ozone. Sterile textile samples were washed in the same load to investigate potential cross contamination of HCoV-OC43. After washing, the number of infectious virus particles present on the cotton samples was determined. In a time-assay study, the stability of HCoV-OC43 in the presence of ozone over time was also investigated. Cotton samples contaminated with HCoV-OC43 were exposed to ozone in solution, for 3 and 6 minutes. The number of infectious virus particles remaining on the cotton after the wash was determined. For both the contamination tests and time-assay study, washes without detergent and ozone were included as controls. Results: No infectious virus was detected on contaminated cotton samples after washing using the OTEX Foul and Infected cycle, demonstrating at least 1.6 log10 reduction in HCoV-OC43 infectivity from the textile when using this wash cycle. No infectious virus was detected on sterile textile samples included in the washes, suggesting that there was no detectable cross-contamination occurring within the wash. In the time-assay study, HCoV-OC43 infectivity was reduced by at least 4.3 log10 within 6 minutes of washing in the presence of ozone – beyond that of the limit of detection. Discussion: These findings show that ozone contributes to the inactivation of HCoV-OC43. Overall, the results suggest that coronaviruses such as HCoV-OC43 are unlikely to persist within the OTEX laundering cycle. Owen, L., Cripwell, L., Hook, J., Shivkumar, M. and Laird, K. (2021) Disinfection of laundry using low temperature validated ozone system, OTEX, against human coronavirus HCoV-OC43. IP 2021 conference, 27-29th September, Liverpool, UK [poster].
  • Investigation of the stability and risks of fomite transmission of human coronavirus OC43 on leather
    Investigation of the stability and risks of fomite transmission of human coronavirus OC43 on leather Shivkumar, Maitreyi; Adkin, Pat; Owen, Lucy; Laird, Katie Limited research exists on the potential for leather to act as a fomite of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or endemic coronaviruses including human coronavirus (HCoV) OC43; this is important for settings such as the shoe manufacturing industry. Antiviral coating of leather hides could limit such risks. This study aimed to investigate the stability and transfer of HCoVOC43 on different leathers, as a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2, and assess the antiviral efficacy of a silver-based leather coating. The stability of HCoV-OC43 (6.6 log10) on patent, full-grain calf, corrected grain finished and nubuck leathers (silver additive-coated and uncoated) was measured by titration on BHK-21 cells. Transfer from leather to cardboard and stainless steel was determined. HCoV-OC43 was detectable for 6 h on patent, 24 h on finished leather and 48 h on calf leather; no infectious virus was recovered from nubuck. HCoV-OC43 transferred from patent, finished and calf leathers onto cardboard and stainless steel up to 2 h post-inoculation (≤3.1–5.5 log10), suggesting that leathers could act as fomites. Silver additive-coated calf and finished leathers were antiviral against HCoV-OC43, with no infectious virus recovered after 2 h and limited transfer to other surfaces. The silver additive could reduce potential indirect transmission of HCoV-OC43 from leather. open access article Shivkumar, M., Adkin, P., Owen, L., Laird, K. (2021) Investigation of the stability and risks of fomite transmission of human coronavirus OC43 on leather. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 368(16), fnab112.
  • Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of UK healthcare workers towards uniform laundering polices during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of UK healthcare workers towards uniform laundering polices during the COVID-19 pandemic Owen, Lucy; Apps, Lindsay; Stanulewicz, Natalia; Hall, Andrew; Laird, Katie Owen, L., Apps, L., Stanulewicz, N., Hall, A. and Laird, K. (2021) Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of UK healthcare workers towards uniform laundering polices during the COVID-19 pandemic. European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 9-12th July 2021, online [poster].
  • A Germ’s Journey: co-creation of resources for addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals in education & health in low-and-middle-income countries
    A Germ’s Journey: co-creation of resources for addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals in education & health in low-and-middle-income countries Crosby, Sapphire; Laird, Katie; Younie, Sarah Following a Participatory Action Research (PAR) model, this study evaluates whether specifically developed resources (‘A Germ’s Journey’) aid children in India’s understanding of hand-hygiene principles. Furthermore, it discusses how the findings can inform the future development of culturally relevant resources for developing countries. Educational health-hygiene workshops were conducted with schools and community centres in collaboration with organisations in Ahmedabad, India in areas of considerable socio-economic disadvantage. Children’s and teacher-trainer workshops were delivered to ten Case Studies. Mixed-method data was collected from children using quasi-experimental methods, using pre-workshop questions, follow-up questions, observations and baseline and post-workshop assessments. Data was collected from teachers using questionnaires. Following teacher-trainer workshops during Phase 1 of the study, 100% of teachers stated that they would use the resources with their pupils in the future. Two months after participating in the workshops, 60-73% of children knew how germs can cause illness, and 76-80% knew how to remove germs from hands. When assessed during Phase 2 of the study, 54% of children scored higher after the intervention, showing an increased understanding of microbiology after using the resources. The results indicate that children have an improved understanding of the cause of bacterial disease and the health implications of not using adequate health-hygiene practices. Recommendations for the future development of resources include adopting a PAR model of research, co-creation with end users and working alongside local organisations and participants in order to access the ‘hard-to-reach’ areas. Crosby, S., Laird, K., and Younie, S. (2021) A Germ’s Journey: co-creation of resources for addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals in education & health in low-and-middle-income countries. International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) World Assembly Conference, Bath, June, 2021.
  • The Global Impact of A Germ’s Journey: Interactive Learning Resources and Behavioural Training to Improve Young Children’s Knowledge of Microorganisms and Handwashing Skills Worldwide
    The Global Impact of A Germ’s Journey: Interactive Learning Resources and Behavioural Training to Improve Young Children’s Knowledge of Microorganisms and Handwashing Skills Worldwide Crosby, Sapphire; Laird, Katie; Younie, Sarah Interdisciplinary research between psychology, health sciences and education has resulted in the co-creation of ‘A Germ’s Journey’; a resource-based intervention comprising books, web games, videos and posters. The resources are utilised globally across Africa, Asia and Europe, with 3,540 books donated to schools, museum exhibits, community centres and refugee camps reaching 145,432 people thus far. Most recently, these resources have been developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in line with WHO guidelines stating that handwashing is the most effective strategy for prevention of infection. The A Germ’s Journey health-education intervention was developed to improve young children’s understanding of microorganism transfer and efficient handwashing techniques to tackle infection. This presentation outlines the findings from a collection of studies that evaluate whether specifically co-created resources (A Germ’s Journey) aid children’s understanding and practice, and teachers’ pedagogy of effective hand-hygiene in the UK and Low-and Middle-Income Countries. Educational health-hygiene workshops were conducted with schools in the UK and in Sierra Leone and India in areas of considerable socio-economic disadvantage. Mixed-method data was collected from children using quasi-experimental methods, using pre-workshop questions, follow-up questions, observations and baseline and post-workshop assessments. Data was collected from teachers using questionnaires and focus groups. Results from evaluative studies demonstrate that the use of A Germ’s Journey multi-component educational resources induce significant improvements in children’s knowledge of microorganisms and handwashing skills. For example: among one sample of UK schoolchildren, 20% more washed between their fingers one month after engaging with the learning resources, and 30% more linked handwashing to germs. The effect of the intervention also extends to reducing the cases of diarrhoea and vomiting related illness in India. Additionally teachers (100%) reported on the usefulness of the resources. A Germ’s Journey resources enhance children’s understanding of handwashing, microorganism transfer and disease development, thereby improving handwashing behaviour in children in both the UK and Low-and-Middle-Income Countries, addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals for health (SDG3) and education (SDG4). Crosby, S., Younie, S., and Laird, K. (2021) The Global Impact of A Germ’s Journey: Interactive Learning Resources and Behavioural Training to Improve Young Children’s Knowledge of Microorganisms and Handwashing Skills Worldwide. Global Perspectives: Educational Leadership Conference [Online], 18 June 2021.

Click here for a full listing of Katie Laird's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Hospital Acquired Infections
  • Enterococcus spp.
  • C. difficile
  • Healthcare Laundry
  • Biofilms
  • Novel antimicrobials (nano-metals and natural products)

There are two main areas of research currently being conducted, one of which is the assessment of novel antimicrobials such as essential oils against HAIs both in vegetative and biofilm form for use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

Secondly, healthcare textiles are being assessed for their potential as cross contamination routes for C. diffilice and other HAIs. The effectiveness of the NHS laundering policy at removing microbial loads on bed linen from the hospital ward through to the national contractors for NHS laundering and on-site laundering in care homes is being determined; as well as studies on the attachment of micro-organisms to textile fibres. In addition, novel antimicrobial ingredients for washing detergents and textile coatings are also being explored.

Katie has also a founder of A Germ's Journey an edicational brand for children on infection control and microbiology  (www.agermsjourney.com). This project has global reach and has reached 170 000 individuals across 117 countries.

Areas of teaching

  • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science (BSc): Basic Microbiology 
  • Pharmacy (MPharm): Pharmaceutical microbiology, asepsis, infection, the skin and the pulmonary system.
  • Dissertation projects
  • MSc Students
  • PhD Students.

Honours and awards

  • DMU Future Research Leaders Fellow (2015)
  • Outstanding Poster Award the American Society of Microbiology (2015)
  • Medici Fellow  – Birmingham University (2014)
  • HACCP Level 4  (2011)
  • DMU Media Fellowship (2010).
  • Chartered Biologist (2010), Society of Biology
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2009)
  • House of Commons award (2008) for research excellence in Hospital Acquired      Infections by Alan Johnson (Health Secretary). 

Membership of external committees

  • Main Committee Member for the Society for Applied Microbiology July 2010 – July 2013.
  • Meetings sub-committe member for the Society of Applied Microbiology July 2010 - 2015. 

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Editor for a Special Issue in Smart Materials and Structures on sporting protective equipment 
  • Editor for the International Journal of Food Science Technology, June 2019 – to date
  • External Examiner for the Biomedical degree at the University of Bradford,  1st Aug 2018 – Nov 2022
  • Management committee member for the United Kingdom for the COST Action CA16227: Investigation and Mathematical Analysis of Avant-garde Disease Control via Mosquito Nano-Tech-Repellents
    • Lead for Medilink East Midlands Infectious Disease Special Interest Group, 2017 – to date
    • Reviewer for the Journal of Applied Microbiology, Letters in Applied Microbiology, Food Control and Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
  • Society for Applied Microbiology – main committee member (2005-2008)
  • American Society of Microbiology (2006)
  • Society of General Microbiology (2006)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2008)
  • British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2007)
  • Society of Biology (2009).

Projects

 

Forthcoming events

Katie leads in collboration with Medilink East Midlands the Infectious Disease Special Interest Group for the East Midlands, please visit  http://www.medilinkem.com/events/events-calendar to see when the next event is.

 

Conference attendance

Food micro Conference

  • Laird K, & Phillips, C. Copenhagen, Denmark, August  2010:Inhibition of legionellae in water by citrus essential oils and components.
  • Fisher, K. & Phillips, C. Italy September 2006: The effect of citrus essential oils and vapours and their components on the survival of foodborne pathogenic bacteria in vitro and in food systems.

House of Commons, Set for Britain

  • Fisher, K. & Phillips, C. March 2007: Citrus essential oils: a potential bactericide in both the clinical and food arenas.

 

American Society of Microbiology Conference

  • Tarrant, J. Jenkins, P. & Laird, K. How clean are your Hospital Beds?, American Society of Microbiology General Meeting, peer reviewed abstract (New Orleans), May 2015.  Awarded outstanding poster.
  • New Orleans, June 2017

Ø  Owen, L., White, A. and Laird, K. (2017) Bioautography-Guided Identification of Antimicrobial Essential Oil Components of Oregano, Cumin and Rosewood against Antibiotic Sensitive and Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa [poster]. ASM Microbe 2017,

Ø  Anita Ogbechie, Amos Abioye, Jinsong Shen, Katie Laird (2017), Antimicrobial Activity of Litsea, Lemon and Rosemary Essential Oils and Their Combinations Against Healthcare and Sportswear Infection-Related Pathogens 

Ø  S.E. Walsh, B. Pankhania, S. Price, K. Laird, L. Smith, K. Huddersman (2017), Preventing Infections using De Montfort University’s Novel Catalyst Technology [poster]. ASM Microbe 2017

Society for Applied Microbiology Conference

  • London, Nov 2018
    • Ø Owen, L. and Laird, K. (2018) Investigation of synergistic antibiotic-essential oil component combinations as a means to preserve the current antibiotic repertoire in Enterococcus sp. [poster] Society for Applied Microbiology Antimicrobial Resistance Meeting 2018, November 2018, London.
    • Alhareth, Z, Owen, L, Dixon, J, McKechine, K, Smith, L and Laird, K. (2018) The mechanism of antibacterial action of Essential Oils against Enterococcus faecium: the role of transport channels, [poster] Society for Applied Microbiology Antimicrobial Resistance Meeting 2018, November 2018, London.
  • Dublin, July 2015:

Ø  Anita Ogbechie, Amos Abioye, Jinsong Shen, Katie Laird; Novel green antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the healthcare and sport arenas

Ø  Tejpal, J. & Laird, K., Comparison of the antibacterial effect of silver and zinc oxide in solution and on coated surfaces on biofilms (2nd prize, student poster competition)

Ø  Owen, L. & Laird, K. Developing a topical preparation containing a synergistic antimicrobial combination of essential oils for the control of acne vulgaris-associated bacteria.

  • Tarrant, J. & Laird, K. Brighton, July 2014: Clostridium difficile spores and healthcare laundry policy: How clean is your hospital bed?
  • SfAM Early Career Scientist Research Symposium – March 2021,
  • Owen, L., Shivkumar, M. and Laird, K. (2021) Persistence of human coronaviruses on textiles during laundering. March 23rd 2021 [online poster presentation].
  • Crosby, S., Younie, S., and Laird, K. (2021). Evaluating the effectiveness of A Germ’s Journey interactive health-education resources and interventions to improve young children’s understanding of microorganisms and handwashing skills globally,  March 2021, [online poster presentation].
  • Shivkumar, M., Adkin, P., Owen, L., Patel, J., Shantharami, U., Goodyear, L. and Laird, K. (2022) Stability of human coronavirus OC43 on leather and viral transfer to different surface. SfAM ECS Symposium, Cardiff, 20th June 2022.
  • Tejpal, J. & Laird, K. Edinburgh, July 2012: Reproducibility of a Static and a Continuous Flow Method for the Formation of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms &Bacterial contamination of healthcare uniforms and survival on different textile fibre types.
  • Tarrant, J. & Laird, K. Dublin, July 2011: Assessment of methods for recovery of Clostridium difficile spores from textiles.
  • Fisher, K. & Phillips, C. Belfast, July 2008: The use of ozonated water to inhibit pathogenic bacteria.
  • Fisher, K. & Phillips, C. Cardiff, June 2007: The use of citrus essential oils against Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis.

 

Society of General Microbiology Conference

  • Fisher, K. & Phillips C., Harrogate March 2009: The use of an antimicrobial citrus vapour to reduce Enterococcus sp. on lettuce and cucumber.

IUFoST

  • Laird, K. & Phillips, C. Cape Town, South Africa, August 2010: The effect of an essential oil vapour on the growth of Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus niger and Alternaria alternate in vitro and on food." (oral presentation)

Textile Institute World Conference

  • Riley, K., Laird, K. & Williams, J. Shah Alam, Malyasia, May 2012:How closely do hospital staff follow NHS guidelines on domestic laundering procedures? (oral presentation).

Australian Society for Microbiology

  • Riley, K., Laird, K. & Williams, J. Melbourne, July 2014:  Can fibre type have a role in the reduction of microorganism survival on healthcare uniforms?

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

  • Rivers, P., Laird, K. and Ali M (Brighton, September 2014: Perceptions of antibiotic use and microbial resistance - a pilot study to test the potential of a fictitious vignette to assess lay beliefs and attitudes (oral presentation)

Euroscicon - Antibiotic alternatives for the new millennium

  • London, November 2014:

Ø  Laird, K. A Citrus Essential Oil Vapour: An Alternative to Chemical Disinfectants (oral presentation).

Ø  Tejpal, J. & Laird, K. Comparison of the antibacterial effect of silver and zinc oxide in solution

            and on coated surfaces (poster)

Ø  Owen, L. and Laird, K., An Investigation of the Double and Triple Synergistic Antimicrobial Interactions Between Litsea, Rosewood and Clove Essential Oils Against Acne-Associated Bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis (poster).

Phytochemical Society of Europe

  • Lille, France 2017
    • Ø    Owen, Lucy, Grootveld, Martin, Arroo, Randolph, Ruiz-Rodado, Victor,Price, Penny and Laird, Katie, (2017) Antimicrobial activity of ternary essential oil mixtures in topical cosmetic preparations against acne vulgaris-associated bacteria. Phytochemical Society of Europe Young Scientists' Meeting. 
    • Ø    Anita Ogbechie, Amos Abioye, Jinsong Shen, Katie Laird (2017), Antimicrobial activity of Litsea cubeba, Rosmarinus officinalis and Citrus lemon essential oils against five skin-infection related pathogens Phytochemical Society of Europe Young Scientists' Meeting. 

APMAS

  • Alanod Alshareef, Katie Laird & Richard Cross (2015), Chemical Synthesis of Copper Nanospheres and Nanocubes and Their Antibacterial Activity Against Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp. Turke

ICPAM-11

  • Alanod Alshareef, Katie Laird & Richard Cross (2017), Shape-dependent antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles on Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecium bacterium, Romania

ECCMID

  • Lucy Owen, Katie Laird & Philipee Wilson (2018) Three-Dimensional Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships of Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents, Madrid
  • Lucy Owen, Joseph P. Webb, Jeffrey Green, Laura J. Smith and Katie Laird (2019) Transcriptional response of vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium to a synergistic antibiotic-essential oil combination: A strategy to preserve the current antibiotic repertoire? ECCMID, Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 2019.
  • Owen, L. and Laird, K. (2020) Dual-Function Antimicrobial Laundry Supplement and Textile Coating for the Decontamination of Healthcare Laundry. ECCMID, Paris, April 2020 [poster]. Abstract only published
  • Alhareth, Z., Owen, L., Dixon C.J., Smith, L., and Laird, K. (2020) Gene expression analysis of transport channels in Enterococcus faecium (VRE). ECCMID, Paris, April 2020 [poster]. Abstract Only Published.
  • Owen, L., Apps, L., Stanulewicz, N., Hall, A. and Laird, K. (2021) Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of UK healthcare workers towards uniform laundering polices during the COVID-19 pandemic. European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 9-12th July 2021, online [poster].
  • Adkin O P and Laird K. (2021) The interactions of bacterial contamination with healthcare mattress textiles specifically designed to repel microorganisms. European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 9-12th July 2021, online [poster].
  • Alhareth Z., Dixon J., Smith L., Laird K. (2021) Calcium channels: proposed involvement in the antimicrobial effect of a natural product formulation against vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. 31st European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 9-12th July 2021, online [poster].
  • Owen, L. and Laird, K. (2022) Evaluation of current healthcare laundry hygiene monitoring methodologies. ECCMID, online, 23-26th April 2022 [poster].

 

ECCVID

  • Owen, L., Shivkumar, M. and Laird, K. (2020) Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on a Range of Textile Fibre Types. ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease, 23-25th September 2020 [online].

 

BSAC

  • Owen, L. and Laird, K. (2018) Synergistic essential oil-antibiotic combinations as a strategy to maintain the efficacy of current antibiotics against Enterococcus sp. [poster] British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Antibiotic Resistance and Mechanisms Workshop, November 2018, Birmingham.
  • Alhareth, Z, Owen, L, Dixon, J, McKechnie, K, Smith, L and Laird, K. (2018) Is the antimicrobial mechanism of action of essential oils against bacteria associated with channels similar to TRPV1 channels found in mammalian cells? [poster] British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Antibiotic Resistance and Mechanisms Workshop, November 2018, Birmingham.

 

EU Cost Action (CA16227)

 

  • Marija Grancaric, A, Laird, K, Shen, J and Botteri, L. (2019) Development of sustainable cotton fabrics with natural immortelle essential oil for antimicrobial and mosquito repellent functions. [oral] 1st International Conference on Political Decision Making and Vector-Borne Diseases – Interdisciplinary Research, Complexity and Bio-Mathematics, 4-5 of April 2019, Valença, Portugal
  • Laird, K, Shen, J., Soroh, A., Rahim, N., & Grancaric A, (2019) EU COST ACTION (network) project (CA16227) Interdisciplinary Research on Mosquito-combating Textiles and Paints, Scientific Meeting. Microencapsulation of natural essential oils to develop sustainable textiles for antimicrobial and mosquito repellent functionality. Malta, Dec 2019.

 

Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research

  • Owen, L., Laird, K, Samarasinghe, S., Weisenburge, S., Koch, E. and Gronier, B. (2019) Menthacarin – a proprietary combination of peppermint and caraway essential oils – exerts selective antimicrobial activity against gastrointestinal bacteria. Sept. 1-5, 2019,  Innsbruck, Austria.

BERA

  • Crosby, S., Laird, K. , and Younie, S. (2019), Creating Resources with Children in India using a co-creation model for Developing Countries to address UN SDG goals. BERA, Global Perspectives: re-imagining education, 20-21st June 2019, Worcester, UK.
  • Crosby, S., Laird, K. and Younie, S. (2019) GERMS JOURNEY: co-creation of resources for addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals in education & health in developing countries. BERA, Global Perspectives: re-imagining education, Worcester, UK, 20-21st June 2019

 

ITMC

  • Grancaric A M, Laird K, Botteri L, Shen J and Laatikainen K, Microencapsulation for Improved Mosquitoes Repellent Efficacy of Cotton Fabrics, ITMC 2019 Conference, Marrakech, Morocco, 13-15 November 2019.

 

 International Council on Education for Teaching

  • Crosby, S., Laird, K., and Younie, S. (2021) A Germ’s Journey: co-creation of resources for addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals in education & health in low-and-middle-income countries. International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) World Assembly Conference, 21-23 June, 2021

 

European Conference on Health Communication

  • Lahiri, I, Crosby, S., Firth, C., Laird, K. and Younie, S. (2021), Lessons learnt from Germ’s Journey- importance of health communications in a post pandemic world, online 4-5 November 2021.

Infection Prevention Society

  • Owen, L., Cripwell, L., Hook, J., Shivkumar, M. and Laird. K. (2021) Disinfection of laundry using low temperature validated ozone system, OTEX, against human coronavirus HCoV-OC43. 13th Annual conference Liverpool, 27-29 September 2021

 

 

 

 

Consultancy work

  • Product development
  • Infection control product efficacy testing
  • Healthcare textiles and laundering
  • Contamination and transmission routes for disease.
  • Food poisoning outbreaks
  • Food spoilage.
  • Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs)
  • Infection control – how to prevent outbreaks of viral and bacterial disease
  • New antimicrobials

 

Previous desktop analysis studies for efficacy of products have been conducted, also possible lab based projects could be conducted on the efficacy of antimicrobial products.

Expertise in efficacy of antimicrobial textiles or laundry products for the clinical and food arena

 

Current research students

Current research student supervisions:

  • PhD - Identification of Biomarkers for Improved Prognosis of Severe Obesity and Response to Bariatric Surgical Intervention: An Extensive Metabolomics Investigation. Oct 2016 -2020 – 2nd Supervisor
  • PhD – Mechanisms of Action of Novel Antimicrobials. Oct 2017 – 2021 – 1st Supervisor
  • PhD - Assessment of A Germ’s Journey Educational Resources. Oct 2017 -2023 – 2nd Supervisor
  • PhD - Development of eco-friendly and novel coating technology for durable functional textiles: A solution to bacterial, fungal and mosquito borne disease in the travel and sport arenas. Oct 2019 – 2023 – 1st Supervisor
  • PhD –  Anti-microbial Peptide Hydrogel for Topical Applications & as Lubricants for Catheters- Jan 2020 – 2024 – 2nd Supervisor
  • PhD - Germ's Journey Education Resources: Handwashing for Children – Oct 2021 - 2026

 

Completions: 6 PhD and 2 MRes

Externally funded research grants information

  • Society for Applied Microbiology Summer Placement Studentship (June-August 2022): The role of domestic antibacterial laundry cleansers in the development of biocide resistance and cross-resistance with antibiotics - £2500, CI
  • Textile Services Association, temperature profiling of bioindicators in the wash system, Dec 2021, £ 14,030.00, PI
  • Textile Services Association, the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of care homes towards laundering of textile, Nov 2021, £11,592.00, PI
  • Dakem Ltd, Assessment of antiviral efficacy of MoskitoGuard® with active ingredient picaridin. Aug 2021, £10 858, CI
  • Propress Industrial Project, assessment of garment steamers o textiles surfaces to remove coronavirus, Aug 2021, £10 080, PI
  • National Biofilms Innovation Centre, Public Engagement and Outreach Grant, A Germ’s Journey: A Fight against Resistance interactive educational resources to improve children’s understanding of Antimicrobial Resistance, March 2021, £2953, PI
    • Travel Grant, Microbiology Society, Chemical analysis of natural products in combination with antibiotics. Oct 2016-Jan 2017: £3000, PI
    • Analysis antimicrobial effect of natural oil extracted from plant based product on Gut Microflora, Industrial Project: Jan 2015- Aug 2015: £6000, CI
  • Valneva Industrial Project, assessment of mosquito repellent active ingredients for anti-coronavirus activity, March 2021, £2000, CI
  • Microfresh Industrial Project, wash testing of antimicrobial coated textiles, Jan 2021, £25 188, PI
  • Barclays Covid build back better donation for Germ’s Journey Bye Bye Germs, Dec 2020, £40 000. PI
  • Dettol donation for Germ’s Journey Bye Bye Germs, UAE version, Dec 2020, £6500, PI
  • NewGen industry contract for climbing association: June 2020, £10 000, CI
  • JLA industry contract looking at coronavirus and ozone washing systems: June 2020, £15 000, PI
  • Trelleborg contract research to test the efficacy of a new healthcare mattress coating to prevent the attachment of bacteria, March 2020, £35 000, PI
  • TSA contract research to develop a test method for testing the antimicrobial efficacy of industrial laundries , October 2019, £104 500 PI
  • PAL International sponsorship of Germ’s Journey website, September 2019, £6500, PI
  • JLA contract research of the efficacy of ozone washing machines, October 2019, £12 100
  • Next donation for Germ’s Journey Project, September 2019, £5000
  • PAL International sponsorship of Soaper Heros project at Alder Hey Hospital, August 2019, £15 000
  • Wederell Trust, Funds to support the creation of a Germ’s Journey African edition, Jan 2019 – July 2019: £2500, PI
  • EcoGen Limited, Industrial Project, Antimicrobial efficacy of needle destruction device, Jan 2019 – March 2019: £5940, PI
  • Germ’s Journey Gujarati Book, crowdfunding. April 2018, £7550
  • PAL International Research Project, part funded by the European Regional Development Grant, efficacy of antimicrobial wipes against C. difficile. Jan 2018 – Aug 2018: £19 920, PI
  • WET Engineering Consultancy, Assessment of a novel antimicrobial against biofilms in pipes in chicken sheds. Jan 2018 – Dec 2018: £10 920, PI
  • Microfresh Research Project, part funded by the European Regional Development Grant, Phase two, assessment of antimicrobial detergents for healthcare laundry. Jan 2018 – Jan 2019: £45 500, PI
  • PAL International donation for A Germ’s Journey Middle East Poster, Nov 2017 – July 2018, £750, PI
  • Microfresh, Industrial Project, Assessment of antimicrobial detergents for healthcare laundry. July 2016-July 2017: £5000, PI
  • Educational Resources Grant, Society for Applied microbiology, A Germs Journey. July 2016-July 2017: £3,855.00, PI
  • DAAD Rise Programme: Internship from Germany for research placement starting Aug 2015: £5000, PI
  • Partnerships in Knowledge Transfer (PiKT), European Regional Development Fund, Essential oil blends for the use in skin care products. March 2014- March 2015. £87,000, PI, collaborators: Penny Price Aromatherapy.
  • Educational Resources Grant, Society for Applied microbiology, A Germs Journey. July 2015-July 2016: £3000, PI
  • Students into Work Grant, Society for Applied Microbiology (2011):£2500, PI
  • DAAD Rise Programme: Internship for research placement July – Sept,  2011: £5000, PI

 

Internally funded research project information

  • UKRI, Supporting the implementation of intergenerational policies using Germ's Journey dementia resources, £5000 PI
  • Internal PhD Bursary, Development of a durable, affordable eco-friendly textile solution for microbial and mosquito borne disease control. October 2021 £64 000 CI
  • Global Challenges Research Fund, Germ’s Journey Sierra Leone: handwashing education for children to address UN SDGs in education and health and the Covid-19 pandemic, March 2021 £10 000, PI
  • Higher Education Innovation Fund, Global Covid-19 handwashing discussions, December 2020, £8034.50, PI
  • Higher Education Innovation Fund, British Footwear Association Covid-19 Research Project, August 2020: £22, 015, PI
  • Higher Education Innovation Fund, funding to support the assessment of the role of textiles in the transmission of coronavirus, May 2020-October 2020: £34, 452, PI
  • Global Challenges Research Fund follow up fund, Germ’s Journey Around the World: Co-creating handwashing education for all to address UN SDGs in education and health, March 2020, £3000, PI
  • HEIF funding to support the development of antimicrobial laundry products for Microfresh, October 2019 – July 2020: £17 000, PI
  • Global Challenges Research Fund, Germ’s Journey Around the World: Co-creating handwashing education for all to address UN SDGs in education and health, February 2019 – July 2019: £10 000, PI
  • Council for At Risk Academics (CARA), PhD Studentship – Mechanisms of action of novel antimicrobials, November 2017 -2019: £49 500, PI
  • PhD Student Bursary (Fees only) – Development of novel synergistic therapeutic strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance: critical roles for natural products, PhD, October 2015 – 2018: £12 600, PI
  • Higher Education Innovation Fund, Infectious Disease Research Group Networking Launch, September 2016 – July 2017: £3000, PI
  • Internal PhD Bursary - Antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the sports and travel arenas. October 2014-2017:  £62,988, PI
  • Research leave award: The use of natural products in synergy with antibiotics – Sept 2014 - January 2015: £5000, PI
  • Future Research Leadership: January 2015 – Dec 2015: £2000, PI
  • Internal PhD Bursary (Fees only) – The use of nano-metals against biofilms in a biomedical context. October 2011-2014: £12 600, PI
  • Internal PhD Bursary - Survival of Clostridium difficile on cloth and exploration of new interventions during healthcare laundering, October 2010-2013: £54 000, PI
  • 3D spacer fabrics for medical applications, RIF, October 2010-October 2011, (£10,000), CI.
  • Pump Prime Funds: Development of consultancy expertise and equipment, October 2010- October 2011 (£10,000), PI. 

Published patents

United Kingdom Patent Application No. 0809935.0: Antimicrobial citrus essential oil blend vapour.

Professional esteem indicators

 

Invited Speaker:

    1. Infection Control and Prevention; Knowlex (Knowledge Exchange for the NHS), Care Home Conference, Infection control educational resources for those living with dementia (intergenerational research). Birmingham UK, 14th June 2022.
    2. Infection Prevention Society, Care Home Special Interest Group conference, Infection control educational resources for those living with dementia (intergenerational research), Derby UK, 8th June 2022
    3. Owen, L., Shivkumar, M., Apps, L. and Laird, K. (2022) Laundering healthcare uniforms at home: risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Infection Prevention and Control Conference, Birmingham, 26th April 2022. 
    4. TSA Knowledge Network Open Day. Efficacy of Microbial Test Methodologies for Laundry 9th February 2022 [Online].
    5. National Health Executive 365: Infection Control in NHS Estates: Leaders debate, infection control, online, 16th December 2021
    6. Infection Prevention Society, Yorkshire Branch Meeting, Stability of coronaviruses on textiles and during laundering: Are healthcare textiles a COVID-19 infection control risk?, online, 23rd March 2021
    7. Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA), Low Temperature washing of Nurses Uniforms, USA, September 2017 via webinar
    8. Infection Control and Prevention Conference; Knowlex (Knowledge Exchange for the NHS), Domestic Laundering of Nurses Uniforms: The Effect of Low Temperature Laundering, Leeds, 12th July 2017.
    9. European Textile Services Association (ETSA), Hygiene of Domestic Laundering – Evaluating Risks and Opportunities. Paris 14th-16th of June
    10. Infection Control and Prevention; Knowlex (Knowledge Exchange for the NHS), Domestic Laundering of Nurses Uniforms: The Effect of Low Temperature Laundering, London, Feb 2017.
    11. Society of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers Conference; Stratford Upon Avon, Domestic Laundering of Healthcare Uniforms, May 2016
    12. Penny Price Aromatherapy Open Day, Hinckley, A citrus essential oil vapour a possible chemical disinfectant, May 2015
    1. British Footwear Association, Global Industry Webinar, The life of covid on leather, 24th November 2021
    2. Textiles Rental Services 10th Annual Healthcare Conference, Stability of coronaviruses on textiles and during laundering: Are healthcare textiles a COVID-19 infection control risk?, Texas USA, 17-18th November 2021
    3. Textiles National Congress, Efficacy of Microbial Test Methodologies for Laundry,Birmingham, UK, 10th November 2021
    4. British Infection Association Conference, Future Proofing Antibiotic Resistance: Alternatives to Antibiotic Discovery’ A synergy between natural products and vancomycin to combat VRE,8th November 2021
    5. National Health Executive 365: Infection, prevention and Decontamination:  Decontamination Panel Discussion, online, 23rd June 2021
    6. Department of International Trade, Innovations for Global Challenges Webinar Series, How a Germ’s Journey is improving hygiene and reducing sickness around the world, online, 25th March 2021.
    1. Textile Services Association, COVID-19 and Healthcare Laundry Global Trade Association Webinar, Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on a Range of Textile Fibre Types, online, 19th Jan 2021.
    2. Infection Control and Prevention; Knowlex (Knowledge Exchange for the NHS), Are Textiles and Infection Control Risk, Birmingham, Feb 2020
    3. TRSA 8th Annual Healthcare Conference & Exchange, Session Title: Current Healthcare Market-Related Research Review: Research to Develop a New Standardised Test Method to Determine the Antimicrobial Efficacy of Laundry Processes. San Diego, Nov 2019.
    4. Textile Services Association, Annual Conference, Healthcare Textiles Research: Nurses Uniforms and Bedsheets, Warwick, UK, Sept 2019
    5. EU COST ACTION (network) project (CA16227) Interdisciplinary Research on Mosquito-combating Textiles and Paints, Scientific Meeting. Natural Products for Use in Antimicrobial Microcapsules for Textiles: Novel and Green, Orhid, Macedonia Oct 2018
    6. Society of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers Conference, Barnsley, C. difficile  the gremlin of hospital bedsheets, May 2018.

     

 

Case studies

Examples of evidence of the ‘Impact’ of research e.g. references to reviews/articles in main stream media, examples of feedback from users, exhibition attendance figures.

 KatieLairdImage