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Dr Katie Laird

Job: Reader in Microbiology, Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group and Faculty Deputy Head of Research Students

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

Dr Katie Laird is a Reader in 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.

During her PhD she developed and patented an essential oil based antimicrobial vapour, whilst her postdoctoral work included the assessment of natural antimicrobials efficacy against post-harvest pathogens.

Her research is centred on the prevention of transmission of Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) particularly the use of novel antimicrobials. Current research projects include C. difficile transmission on healthcare laundry, reducing the attachment of micro-organisms to textiles in the healthcare arena, the use of metal nanoparticles against biofilms and the development of natural products for the use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. Other projects inculde the assessment of the lay publics understanding of antibiotic resistance. Katie is the author of "A Germ's Journey" Educational Resources teaching young children about health hygiene having an impact globally.

Research group affiliations

Infectious Disease Research Group

Publications and outputs

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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. free access article
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Microemulsification of essential oils for the development of antimicrobial and mosquito repellent functional coatings for textiles
    Microemulsification of essential oils for the development of antimicrobial and mosquito repellent functional coatings for textiles Soroh, Anita; Owen, Lucy; Rahim, Noor; Masania, Jinit; Abioye, Amos; Qutachi, Omar; Goodyer, Larry; Shen, Jinsong; Laird, Katie Aims: To develop an essential oil (EO)-loaded textile coating using an environmentally-friendly microemulsion technique to achieve both antimicrobial and mosquito repellent functionalities. Methods and Results: Minimum inhibitory concentrations and fractional inhibitory concentrations of litsea, lemon and rosemary EOs were determined against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Trichophyton rubrum. A 1:2 mixture of litsea and lemon EOs inhibited all the microorganisms tested and was incorporated into chitosan-sodium alginate assembly by a microemulsification process. The EO-loaded microemulsions were applied to cotton and polyester fabrics using a soak-pad-dry method. The textile challenge tests demonstrated 7-8 log10 reductions of S. epidermidis, S. aureus and E. coli after 24 h and T. rubrum after 48 h. Aedes aegypti mosquito repellency was also assessed which demonstrated 71.43% repellency compared to 52.94% by neat EO-impregnated cotton. Conclusions: Textiles treated with the litsea and lemon EO microemulsion showed strong antimicrobial activity against the skin associated microorganisms E. coli, S. aureus, S. epidermidis and T. rubrum and potential mosquito repellent properties. Significance of Study: EOs could be useful for the development of natural, environmentally-friendly functional textiles to protect textiles and users from microbial contamination in addition to possessing other beneficial properties such as mosquito repellency. open access article
  • The Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on Textiles in the Environment and during Health Care Laundering
    The Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on Textiles in the Environment and during Health Care Laundering Owen, Lucy; Shivkumar, Maitreyi; Laird, Katie Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) persists on stainless steel and plastic for up to 7 days, suggesting that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could be spread by fomite transmission. There is limited research on the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on textiles, with the risk of textiles acting as fomites not being well understood. To date, there does not appear to be any published research on the stability of coronaviruses during laundering, which is required to determine the efficacy of current laundering policies in the decontamination of health care textiles. The aim of this study was to investigate the environmental stability of human coronaviruses HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E on different textile fiber types and the persistence of HCoV-OC43 on textiles during domestic and industrial laundering. This study demonstrated that human coronaviruses (5 log10 50% tissue culture infective doses [TCID50]) remain infectious on polyester for ≥72 h, cotton for ≥24 h, and polycotton for ≥6 h; HCoV-OC43 was also able to transfer from polyester to PVC or polyester after 72 h. Under clean conditions, HCoV-OC43 was not detectable on cotton swatches laundered with industrial and domestic wash cycles without temperature and detergent (≥4.57-log10-TCID50 reduction), suggesting that the dilution and agitation of wash cycles are sufficient to remove human coronaviruses from textiles. In the presence of interfering substances (artificial saliva), ≤1.78 log10 TCID50 HCoV-OC43 was detected after washing domestically without temperature and detergent, unlike industrial laundering, where the virus was completely removed. However, no infectious HCoV-OC43 was detected when washed domestically with detergent. open access article
  • 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
    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 Crosby, Sapphire; Younie, Sarah; Laird, Katie Aims: 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. Children are particularly vulnerable to the spreading and contracting of infectious disease, with communicable diseases presenting a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among children globally. Despite this, there are few handwashing resources specifically aimed at young children. This poster presents 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. Methods and results: Educational health-hygiene workshops were conducted with schools in the UK and 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. Conclusions: 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. Significance of study: 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). The resources are utilised across Africa, Asia and Europe, with 6,450 books being sold or donated globally to schools, museums, community centres and refugee camps, reaching 145,432 people.
  • Persistence of human coronaviruses on textiles during laundering
    Persistence of human coronaviruses on textiles during laundering Owen, Lucy; Shivkumar, Maitreyi; Laird, Katie Aims The aim of this investigation was to determine the persistence of human coronaviruses on a range of textiles both in the environment and during laundering. Methods and Results The stability of human coronaviruses HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E on cotton, polycotton and polyester textiles was determined up to 72 hours. The transfer of HCoV-OC43 from textiles to plastic or another textile was quantified. Persistence of HCoV-OC43 on cotton during domestic and industrial laundering was also investigated in the presence and absence of detergents and temperature (40-75°C). Infectious virus was quantified by titration on mammalian cells. Infectious HCoV-OC43 was detectable for 6 hours on polycotton, 24 hours on cotton and ≥72 hours on polyester. HCoV-229E was less stable, where it was detectable for 2 hours on polycotton, 6 hours on cotton and 24 hours on polyester. HCoV-OC43 transferred from polyester to PVC and polyester up to 72 hours post-inoculation, whereas no transfer was detected from cotton or polycotton. Domestic and industrial laundering without temperature and detergent completely removed HCoV-OC43 from cotton (≥ 4.58 log10 reduction) under clean conditions. Under dirty conditions, HCoV-OC43 was detected on cotton (≤1.78 log10) after domestic laundering without temperature and detergent. However, HCoV-OC43 was removed by domestic laundering with temperature (40°C) and detergent, or industrial laundering without temperature and detergent. Conclusions Human coronaviruses can persist on textiles for up to 3 days and readily transfer from polyester to other surfaces. HCoV-OC43 were removed from cotton during both domestic and industrial laundering. Significance of Study Polyester could potentially act as fomites for the transmission of coronaviruses, demonstrating the importance of infection control procedures for handling of contaminated textiles. Human coronaviruses are removed from textiles during common domestic and industrial wash programmes, indicating that typical healthcare washing procedures are likely to be suitable for decontaminating textiles.

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 and nano-metals 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 developed a book and website (www.agermsjourney.com) for pre-school aged children to learn about health and hygiene "A Germ's Journey - Dirty Hands, Clean Hands"

Areas of teaching

  • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science (BSc): Basic Microbiology & Biopharmaceuticals
  • Pharmacy (MPharm): Pharmaceutical microbiology, asepsis, inflammation, 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

  • 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

Partnerships in Knowledge Transfer (PiKT), European Regional Development Fund, Essential oil blends for the use in skin care products. PI, collaborators: Penny Price Aromatherapy, March 2014- March 2015: 87K

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.

A Germ's Journey activity pop up shop for Children aged 18 months - 6 years will be held in Highcross Shopping Centre Leicester from the 19th-21st of April.

Conference attendance

Food micro Conference
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, August  2010:Inhibition of legionellae in water by citrus essential oils and components.
  • 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

  • March 2007: Citrus essential oils: a potential bactericide in both the clinical and food arenas.

American Society of Microbiology Conference

  • New Orleans, USA, May 2015: Clostridium difficile and the UK Healthcare      Laundry Policy: How clean is your hospital bed? (Outstanding poster award).
  • San Diego, USA, May 2010:  Analysis of the Antimicrobial Components of Citri-V™®:An Essential Oil Based Vapour.
  • Boston, USA, June 2008: The mechanism of action of a citrus oil blend against Enterococcus sp.
  • Toronto, May 2007: The use of citrus essential oils, temperature and pH (hurdle technology) against Enterococcus sp.

Society for Applied Microbiology Conference

  • Dublin, July 2015: 1) Novel green antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the healthcare and sport arenas,  2) Comparison of the antibacterial effect of silver and zinc oxide in solution and on coated surfaces on biofilms (2nd prize, student      poster competition) & 3) Developing a topical preparation containing a      synergistic antimicrobial combination of essential oils for the control of acne vulgaris-associated bacteria.
  • Brighton, July 2014:Clostridium difficile spores and healthcare laundry policy: How clean is your hospital bed?
  • 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.
  • Dublin, July 2011: Assessment of methods for recovery of Clostridium difficile spores from textiles.
    • Belfast, July 2008: The use of ozonated water to inhibit pathogenic bacteria.
    • Cardiff, June 2007: The use of citrus essential oils against Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis.

Society of General Microbiology Conference

  • Harrogate March 2009: The use of an antimicrobial citrus vapour to reduce Enterococcus sp. on lettuce and cucumber.

IUFoST

  • 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

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

Australian Society for Microbiology

  • Melbourne, July 2014:  Can fibre type have a role in the reduction of microorganism survival on healthcare uniforms?

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

  • 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:
  • A Citrus Essential Oil Vapour: An Alternative to Chemical Disinfectants (oral presentation).
  • Comparison of the antibacterial effect of silver and zinc oxide in solution

            and on coated surfaces.

  • 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.

 

 

 

Consultancy work

  • Product development
  • 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

Talk Back UK -Channel 4 (How Clean is Your House?) BBC 3 – The Late Edition ITV – GMTV: This involved enumeration and identification of bacterial and fungal species using a variety of techniques and also includes report writing and on-site (location) consultancy during filming or reporting.

Work is currently being carried out with Channel 4 for the production of a series (“Twinsitute”) for prime time TV, looking at the science behind bathing and showering, removal of micro-organisms, the difference between cheap and expensive beauty products etc. We are waiting to hear if the programme will be commissioned.

 Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plans (HACCP) in order to be able to offer food manufactures consultancy on setting up their food manufacturing lines so that they meet food safety legislation and be able to train their staff in HACCP.

Current research students

Current research student supervisions:

  • PhD - Mechanisms of action of novel plant formulations against Enterococcus sp. Oct 2017-2021, 1st Supervisor
  • PhD - A Germ's Journey Educational Resources, Oct 2017-2023, 2nd Supervisor
  • PhD– Development of novel synergistic therapeutic strategies to combat      antimicrobial resistance: critical roles for natural products, PhD, Oct 2015 – 2018      - 1st Supervisor
  • PhD – Natural products antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the sports and travel arenas. Oct 2014-2017 – 1st Supervisor
  • PhD      – The use of nano-metals against biofilms in a biomedical context. Oct      2011-2014 – 1st Supervisor
  • PhD      - Survival of Clostridium difficile on cloth and exploration of new      interventions during healthcare laundering, Oct 2010-2013 – 1st Supervisor.
  • PhD  - Shape controlled synthesis of different nanoparticle metals. Oct 2012- 2017 – 2nd Supervisor
  • PhD- Lay perceptions of  antimicrobial resistance. Apr 2014-2019 – 2nd Supervisor

 

Completions: 3 PhD and 1 MRes

Externally funded research grants information

PAL International, Industrial Project, April 2018 - Dec 2018, £20K, PI

Microfresh, Industrial Project, March 2018 - Dec 2018: £45K, PI

Clinical Fabric Solutions, Industrial Project, Assessment of antimicrobial healthcare textiles. Feb 2017-August 2017: £7500, PI

Textiles company- 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

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

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. PI, collaborators: Penny Price Aromatherapy, March 2014- March 2015: 87K

Students into Work Grant, Society for Applied Microbiology (2011):2.5K

DAAD Rise Programme: Internship for research placement starting July 2011.

NIHR- Physical Environment funding (£110K) 2008 – 2009, led by Dr Terry Tudor at the University of Northampton, researching the effect of clinical waste procedures on hospital – acquired infections – microbiologist

EMDA -Innovation Fellowship (£15K) 2009 – 2010, led by Prof Carol Phillips at the Northampton University studying the effect of Citri-V™® on postharvest Pathogens PI.

EMDA Collaboration fund (£36K) 2009 – 2010 in association with Nottingham & Northampton University and the SME Falvometrix, assessing the antimicrobial components of Citri-V and their volatile release profiles.

EMDA -Innovation Fellowship (£15K) 2010 – 2011, led by Prof Carol Phillips at the Northampton University studying the effect of Citri-V™® on postharvest Pathogens, collaborators.

Internally funded research project information

  • CARA PhD Bursary - Mechanisms of action of novel plant formulations against Enterococcus sp. Oct 2017-2021, £49K
  • PhD Student Bursary (Fees only) – Development of novel synergistic therapeutic strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance: critical roles for natural products, PhD, Oct 2015 – 2018: £12 60
  • Higher Education Innovation Fund, Infectious Disease Research Group Networking Launch, Sept 2016 – July 2017: £3000,
  • Internal PhD Bursary - Antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the sports and travel arenas. Oct 2014-2017:  £62,988
  • Research leave award: The use of natural products in synergy with antibiotics – Sept 2014 - Jan 2015: £5000
  • Medici Fellowship: Birmingham University, Jan- Nov 2014:
  • Future Research Leadership: Jan 2015 – Dec 2015: £3000
  • Internal PhD Bursary (Fees only) – The use of nano-metals against biofilms in a biomedical  context. Oct 2011-2014: £12 600
  • Internal PhD Bursary - Survival of Clostridium difficile on cloth and exploration of new interventions during healthcare      laundering, Oct 2010-2013: £54K
  • 3D spacer fabrics for medical applications, RIF, Oct 2010-Oct 2011, (£10,000), CI.
  • Pump Prime Funds: Development of consultancy expertise and equipment, Oct 2010- Oct 2011 (£10,000), PI.

Published patents

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

Professional esteem indicators

Reviewer for the Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Invited Speaker:

      • Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA), Low Temperature washing of Nurses Uniforms, USA, September 2017 via webinar
  1. 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.
  2. European Textile Services Association (ETSA), Hygiene of Domestic Laundering – Evaluating Risks and Opportunities. Paris 14th-16th  of June
  3. Infection Control and Prevention; Knowlex (Knowledge Exchange for the NHS), Domestic Laundering of Nurses Uniforms: The Effect of Low Temperature Laundering, London, Feb 2017.
  4. Society of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers Conference; Stratford Upon Avon, Domestic Laundering of Healthcare Uniforms, May 2016
  5. Penny Price Aromatherapy Open Day, Hinckley, A citrus essential oil vapour a possible chemical disinfectant, May 2015

Chair of the East Midlands Infectious Disease Special Interest Group (Medilink)

 

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