Prof. Alison Mather

Group Leader

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Epidemiology, genomics and antimicrobial resistance of bacteria

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I am a Research Leader at the Institute and Head of the Microbes and Food Safety Programme, where my interests are the epidemiology, evolution and dynamics of foodborne and zoonotic bacteria, with a particular focus on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

I was awarded a BSc in biomedical toxicology and an MSc in epidemiology from the University of Guelph, followed by a PhD at the University of Glasgow, where I took an epidemiological and ecological approach to the study of AMR in zoonotic pathogens.

After moving to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, my work utilised whole genome sequencing to examine, in the greatest resolution, the evolution and transmission of both bacteria and AMR between and within different host populations. I was awarded a BBSRC Anniversary Future Leader fellowship at the University of Cambridge in 2015, where I used short and long-read genome sequencing and metagenomics to investigate the dynamics of AMR and cross-species pathogen transmission.

I have also become very interested in the role of commensal or non-pathogenic bacteria as reservoirs of AMR genes, and use metagenome sequencing to try to quantify their contribution to the AMR burden of pathogens.

In 2017 I moved to the Quadram Institute, where my group studies the epidemiology, evolution and AMR of pathogenic and commensal bacteria throughout the food chain.


Key Publications

Bloomfield, S.J., Palau, R., Holden, E.R., Webber, M.A. and Mather, A.E. (2024) Genomic characterization of Pseudomonas spp. on food: implications for spoilage, antimicrobial resistance and human infection. BMC Microbiology. doi: 10.1186/s12866-023-03153-9.

Bloomfield, S.J., Zomer, A.L., O’Grady, J., Kay, G.L., Wain, J., Janecko, N., Palau, R. and Mather, A.E. (2023) Determination and quantification of microbial communities and antimicrobial resistance on food through host DNA-depleted metagenomics. Food Microbiology. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2022.104162

Zamudio, R., Boerlin, P., Beyrouthy, R., Madec, J.-Y., Schwarz, S., Mulvey, M.R., Zhanel, G.G., Cormier, A., Chalmers, G., Bonnet, R., Haenni, M., Eichhorn, I., Kaspar, H., Garcia-Fierro, R., Wood, J.L.N. and Mather, A.E. (2022) Dynamics of extended-spectrum cephalosporin resistance genes in Escherichia coli from Europe and North America. Nature Communications. 13: 7490. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-34970-7

Alikhan, N.-F., Zanolli Moreno, L., Castellanos, L.R., Chattaway, M.A., McLauchlin, J., Lodge, M., O’Grady, J., Zamudio, R., Doughty, E., Petrovska-Holmes, L., Cunha, M.P.V., Knöbl, T., Micke Moreno, A. and Mather, A.E. (2022) Dynamics of Salmonella enterica and antimicrobial resistance in the Brazilian poultry industry and global impacts on public health. PLOS Genetics. 8(6):e1010174. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1010174

de Oliveira Martins, L., Bloomfield, S.J., Stoakes, E., Grant, A.J., Page, A.J. and Mather, A.E. (2022) Tatajuba – exploring the distribution of homopolymer tracts. NAR Genomics & Bioinformatics doi: 10.1093/nargab/lqac003

Palau R, Bloomfield S, Jenkins C, Greig DR, Jorgensen F, Mather A. (2024)

Yersinia enterocolitica biovar 1A: An underappreciated potential pathogen in the food chain

International Journal of Food Microbiology, 412, 110554


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Cotton S, McHugh MP, Dewar R, Haas JG, Templeton K, Robson SC, Connor TR, Loman NJ, Golubchik T, Martinez Nunez, Bonsall D, Rambaut A, Snell LB, Livett R, Ludden C, Corden S, Nastouli E, Nebbia G, Johnston I, Prieto JA, Saeed K, Jackson DK, Houlihan C, Frampton D, Hamilton WL, Witney AA, Bucca G, Pope CF, Moore C, Thomson EC, Cutino-Moguel T, Harrison EM, Smith CP, Rogan F, Beckwith SM, Murray A, Singleton D, Eastick K, Sheridan LA, Randell P, Jackson LM, Ariani CV, Gonçalves S, Fairley DJ, Loose MW, Watkins J, Moses S, Nicholls S, Bull M, Amato R, Smith DL, Aanensen DM, Barrett JC, Kele B, Aggarwal D, Shepherd JG, Curran MD, Parmar S, Parker MD, Williams C, Glaysher S, Underwood AP, Bashton M, Pacchiarini N, Loveson KF, Byott M, Carabelli AM, Templeton KE, Peacock SJ, de Silva, Wang D, Langford CF, Sillitoe J, Gunson RN, Cottrell S, O'Grady J, Kwiatkowski D, Lillie PJ, Cortes N, Moore N, Thomas C, Burns PJ, Mahungu TW, Liggett S, Beckett AH, Holden MT, Levett LJ, Osman H, Hassan-Ibrahim MO, Simpson DA, Chand M, Gupta RK, Darby AC, Paterson S, Pybus OG, Volz EM, de Angelis, Robertson DL, Page AJ, Martincorena I, Aigrain L, Bassett AR, Wong N, Taha Y, Erkiert MJ, Spencer Chapman, Dewar R, McHugh MP, Mookerjee S, Aplin S, Harvey M, Sass T, Umpleby H, Wheeler H, McKenna JP, Warne B, Taylor JF, Chaudhry Y, Izuagbe R, Jahun AS, Young GR, McMurray C, McCann CM, Nelson A, Elliott S, Lowe H, Price A, Crown MR, Rey S, Roy S, Temperton B, Shaaban S, Hesketh AR, Laing KG, Monahan IM, Heaney J, Pelosi E, Silviera S, Wilson-Davies E, Fryer H, Adams H, du Plessis, Johnson R, Harvey WT, Hughes J, Orton RJ, Spurgin LG, Bourgeois Y, Ruis C, O'Toole Á, Gourtovaia M, Sanderson T, Fraser C, Edgeworth J, Breuer J, Michell SL, Todd JA, John M, Buck D, Gajee K, Kay GL, Heyburn D, Charalampous T, Alcolea-Medina A, Kitchman K, McNal A, Pritch DT, Dervisevic S, Muir P, Robinson E, Vipond BB, Ramadan NA, Jeanes C, Weldon D, Catalan J, Jones N, da Silva, Williams C, Fuchs M, Miskelly J, Jeffries AR, Oliver K, Park NR, Ash A, Koshy C, Barrow M, Buchan SL, Mantzouratou A, Clark G, Holmes CW, Campbell S, Davis T, Tan NK, Brown JR, Harris KA, Kidd SP, Grant PR, Xu-McCrae L, Cox A, Madona P, Pond M, Randell PA, Withell KT, Williams C, Graham C, Denton-Smith R, Swindells E, Turnbull R, Sloan TJ, Bosworth A, Hutchings S, Pymont HM, Casey A, Ratcliffe L, Jones CR, Knight BA, Haque T, Hart J, Irish-Tavares D, Witele E, Mower C, Watson DipHE, Collins J, Eltringham G, Crudgington D, Macklin B, Iturriza-Gomara M, Lucaci AO, McClure PC, Carlile M, Holmes N, Moore C, Storey N, Rooke S, Yebra G, Craine N, Perry M, Alikhan NF, Bridgett S, Cook KF, Fearn C, Goudarzi S, Lyons RA, Williams T, Haldenby ST, Durham J, Leonard S, Davies RM, Batra R, Blane B, Spyer MJ, Smith P, Yavus M, Williams RJ, Mahanama AI, Samaraweera B, Girgis ST, Hansford SE, Green A, Beaver C, Bellis KL, Dorman MJ, Kay S, Prestwood L, Rajatileka S, Quick J, Poplawski R, Reynolds N, Mack A, Morriss A, Whalley T, Patel B, Georgana I, Hosmillo M, Pinckert ML, Stockton J, Henderson JH, Hollis A, Stanley W, Yew WC, Myers R, Thornton A, Adams A, Annett T, Asad H, Birchley A, Coombes J, Evans JM, Fina L, Gatica-Wilcox B, Gilbert L, Graham L, Hey J, Hilvers E, Jones S, Jones H, Kumziene-Summerhayes S, McKerr C, Powell J, Pugh G, Taylor S, Trotter AJ, Williams CA, Kermack LM, Foulkes BH, Gallis M, Hornsby HR, Louka SF, Pohare M, Wolverson P, Zhang P, MacIntyre-Cockett G, Trebes A, Moll RJ, Ferguson L, Goldstein EJ, Maclean A, Tomb R, Starinskij I, Thomson L, Southgate J, Kraemer MU, Raghwani J, Zarebski AE, Boyd O, Geidelberg L, Illingworth CJ, Jackson C, Pascall D, Vattipally S, Freeman TM, Hsu SN, Lindsey BB, James K, Lewis K, Tonkin-Hill G, Tovar-Corona JM, Cox M, Abudahab K, Menegazzo M, Taylor BE, Yeats CA, Mukaddas A, Wright DW, de Oliveira Martins L, Colquhoun R, Hill V, Jackson B, McCrone JT, Medd N, Scher E, Keatley JP, Curran T, Morgan S, Maxwell P, Smith K, Eldirdiri S, Kenyon A, Holmes AH, Price JR, Wyatt T, Mather AE, Skvortsov T, Hartley JA, Guest M, Kitchen C, Merrick I, Munn R, Bertolusso B, Lynch J, Vernet G, Kirk S, Wastnedge E, Stanley R, Idle G, Bradley DT, Killough NF, Poyner J, Mori M, Jones O, Wright V, Brooks E, Churcher CM, Delgado Callico, Fragakis M, Galai K, Jermy A, Judges S, Markov A, McManus GM, Smith KS, Thomas-McEwen PM, Westwick E, Attwood SW, Bolt F, Davies A, De Lacy, Downing F, Edwards S, Meadows L, Jeremiah S, Smith N, Foulser L, Patel A, Berry L, Boswell T, Fleming VM, Howson-Wells HC, Joseph A, Khakh M, Lister MM, Bird PW, Fallon K, Helmer T, McMurray CL, Odedra M, Shaw J, Tang JW, Willford NJ, Blakey V, Raviprakash V, Sheriff N, Williams LA, Feltwell T, Bedford L, Cargill JS, Hughes W, Moore J, Stonehouse S, Atkinson L, Lee JC, Shah D, Ohemeng-Kumi N, Ramble J, Sehmi J, Williams R, Chatterton W, Pusok M, Everson W, Castigador A, Macnaughton E, El Bouzidi, Lampejo T, Sudhanva M, Breen C, Sluga G, Ahmad SS, George RP, Machin NW, Binns D, James V, Blacow R, Coupland L, Smith L, Barton E, Padgett D, Scott G, Cross A, Mirfenderesky M, Greenaway J, Cole K, Clarke P, Duckworth N, Walsh S, Bicknell K, Impey R, Wyllie S, Hopes R, Bishop C, Chalker V, Harrison I, Gifford L, Molnar Z, Auckland C, Evans C, Johnson K, Partridge DG, Raza M, Baker P, Bonner S, Essex S, Murray LJ, Lawton AI, Burton-Fanning S, Payne BA, Waugh S, Gomes AN, Kimuli M, Murray DR, Ashfield P, Dobie D, Ashford F, Best A, Crawford L, Cumley N, Mayhew M, Megram O, Mirza J, Moles-Garcia E, Percival B, Driscoll M, Ensell L, Lowe HL, Maftei L, Mondani M, Chaloner NJ, Cogger BJ, Easton LJ, Huckson H, Lewis J, Lowdon S, Malone CS, Munemo F, Mutingwende M, Nicodemi R, Podplomyk Fd, Somassa T, Beggs A, Richter A, Cormie C, Dias J, Forrest S, Higginson EE, Maes M, Young J, Davidson RK, Jackson KA, Keeley AJ, Ball J, Byaruhanga T, Chappell JG, Dey J, Hill JD, Park EJ, Fanaie A, Hilson RA, Yaze G, Lo S, Afifi S, Beer R, Maksimovic J, McCluggage K, Spellman K, Bresner C, Fuller W, Marchbank A, Workma T, Shelest E, Debebe J, Sang F, Francois S, Gutierrez B, Vasylyeva TI, Flaviani F, Ragonnet-Cronin M, Smollett KL, Broos A, Mair D, Nichols J, Nomikou K, Tong L, Tsatsani I, O'Brien S, Rushton S, Sanderson R, Perkins J, Cotton S, Gallagher A, Allara E, Pearson C, Bibby D, Dabrer G, Ellaby N, Gallagher E, Hubb J, Lackenby A, Lee D, Manesis N, Mbisa T, Platt S, Twohig KA, Morgan M, Aydin A, Baker DJ, Foster-Nyarko E, Prosolek SJ, Rudder S, Baxter C, Carvalho SF, Lavin D, Mariappan A, Radulescu C, Singh A, Tang M, Morcrette H, Bayzid N, Cotic M, Balcazar CE, Gallagher MD, Maloney D, Stanton TD, Williamson KA, Manley R, Michelsen ML, Sambles CM, Studholme DJ, Warwick-Dugdale J, Eccles R, Gemmell M, Gregory R, Hughes M, Nelson C, Rainbow L, Vamos EE, Webster HJ, Whitehead M, Wierzbicki C, Angyal A, Green LR, Whiteley M, Betteridge E, Bronner IF, Farr BW, Goodwin S, Lensing SV, McCarthy SA, Quail MA, Rajan D, Redshaw NM, Scott C, Shirley L, Thurston SA, Rowe W, Gaskin A, Le Viet T, Bonfield J, Liddle J, Whitwham . (2023)

Investigation of hospital discharge cases and SARS-CoV-2 introduction into Lothian care homes.

The Journal of hospital infection


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