Tara Beattie

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Contact Details

Dr Tara Beattie

lecturer

James Weir Building

t.k.beattie@strath.ac.uk

Tel : +44 (0)141 548 3437

Profile

Research Interests

Ecology of Legionella species in compost environments - Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia caused by Legionella, usually Legionella pneumophila associated with contaminated aerosols from water systems, e.g. air conditioning, water cooling towers. However, in recent years several cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland, caused by Legionella longbeachae have been linked to compost; most recently 4 cases occurring in Lothian have been reported in the media. The ecology of these organisms within compost is largely unknown. Studies have included work on: the presence of Legionella species in compost commercially available in the UK; the effect of greenhouse storage on Legionella survival in compost; the influence of free-living amoeba, particularly Acanthamoeba species, on Legionella ecology. See See Legionella spp. in UK composts – a potential public health issue

Compost microflora on BCYE agar

http://www.ce.strath.ac.uk/media/tara/Compost-microflora-on-BCYE-agar.jpg

Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative – Funding through the Scottish Government International Development fund (2013-2016) is enabling the implementation of a Healthy Settings Programme in the Chikwawa district of Malawi. Healthy Settings aims to achieve healthy communities by not only addressing access to curative health services, but concentrating on the environmental, sociological and economic determinants for health in the home, school and work environments using a community led approach. The programme will be implemented in a cluster of 18 communities, 6 schools, 5 markets and a health centre in Chikhwawa to support the District Health Office to reduce risks to health in vulnerable communities. Community development through Healthy Settings has to come from the community itself and therefore the approach focuses on supporting and facilitating a community profiling process and the development of action plans by community members to give local solutions to health issues. In doing so we hope to ensure sustained change and improvement. For further information see an Overview of the Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative 2013 - 2016

Ocular infection - specifically keratitis caused by the free-living protozoa Acanthamoeba, and the association with contact lenses; much of this work has focused on newer generation silicone hydrogel lenses. Studies have included work on: The effect lens material has on Acanthamoebal attachement to contact lenses; the efficacy of contact lens disinfection solutions against Acanthamoeba; Potential new drugs for the treatment of ocular infection with Acanthamoeba; isolation and molecular typing of clinical and environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba.

Video: Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)
Full Res Version Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)

Video: Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine
Full Res Version Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine

 

Teaching

Contributes to Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching programmes:

  • CL316 Environmental Engineering 1
  • CL904 Waste Management and Landfill Design
  • CL913 Public Health Studies
  • CL914 Infection and Vector Control
  • EV921 Water and Environmental Management


Research Interests

Ecology of Legionella species in compost environments

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia caused by Legionella, usually Legionella pneumophila associated with contaminated aerosols from water systems, e.g. air conditioning, water cooling towers. However, in recent years several cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland, caused by Legionella longbeachae have been linked to compost; most recently 4 cases occurring in Lothian have been reported in the media. The ecology of these organisms within compost is largely unknown.

Studies have included work on:

  • the presence of Legionella species in compost commercially available in the UK. See Legionella spp. in UK composts – a potential public health issue
    Compost microflora on BCYE agar
    Compost microflora on BCYE agar
  • the effect of greenhouse storage on Legionella survival in compost
  • the influence of free-living amoeba, particularly Acanthamoeba species, on Legionella ecology 

 

Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative 2013-2016
See Overview of the Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative 2013 - 2016 


Scottish Government funding (2013-2016) will be used to implement a Healthy Settings Programme in the Chikhwawa district of Malawi. Healthy Settings aims to achieve healthy communities by not only addressing access to curative health services, but concentrating on the environmental, sociological and economic determinants for health in the home, school and work environments using a community led approach. The programme will be implemented in a cluster of 18 communities, 6 schools, 5 markets and a health centre in Chikhwawa to support the District Health Office to reduce risks to health in vulnerable communities.

This is in line with a key component of the Malawi Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011 – 2016) to address healthy settings as a means of reducing the incidence of disease at community level. It also reflects the approach SCHI have been developing and implementing for the last 7 years in Chikhwawa, where the focus has been on diarrhoeal disease and maternal health. 

Community development through Healthy Settings has to come from the community itself and therefore the approach has to focus on supporting and facilitating a community profiling process and the development of action plans by community members to give local solutions to health issues. In doing so we hope to ensure sustained change and improvement.

The new programme, as with the previous programmes will have a strong integration with Chikhwawa District Health Office staff and the Ministry of Health throughout the implementation, and during monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the programme outputs and outcomes inform both the District and National development of this relatively new approach for Malawi. The programme will be managed in Scotland by Dr Tara K. Beattie and in Malawi by Dr Tracy Morse.

 

Ocular infection - specifically keratitis caused by the free-living protozoa Acanthamoeba, and the association with contact lenses; much of this work has focused on newer generation silicone hydrogel lenses.

Studies have included work on:

  • The effect lens material has on Acanthamoebal attachement to contact lenses.

    Video: Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)
    Full Res Version
Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)
  • The efficacy of contact lens disinfection solutions against Acanthamoeba.
  • Potential new drugs for the treatment of ocular infection with Acanthamoeba.

    Video: Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine
    Full Res Version
Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine
  • Isolation and molecular typing of clinical and environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba.

 

The majority of this work has been in collaboration with Professor Alan Tomlinson in the Department of Vision Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University and Professor David Seal.

Other study areas include:

  • collaborative work with staff from the National Centre For Prosthetics and Orthotics, Physics and Maths departments in the University of Strathclyde, investigating the impact micro-organisms have on the liners within prosthetic limbs.
  • efficacy testing of povidone iodine as a prophylaxis during cataract surgery - this work involved lab studies and a clinical trial, collaborating with industry and the NHS
  • investigation of bacterial contamination of enteral tube feeding systems, involving both laboratory studies investigating sources of enteral feeding system contamination, growth of bacteria in enteral feeds, and simulated ward studies on faulty handling of feeding systems, and clinical work investigating the incidence of feed contamination related to handling and feeding system design - studies involved collaboration with both industry and the NHS
  • augmentation of tributyltin (TBT) bioremediation

 

Current Research Students

  • Sandra Currie (primary supervisor) – Ecology of Legionella species in compost
  • Sarah Rippon (secondary supervisor) - Measuring the Impact of Health Settings Approach in Malawi
  • Neil Pratt (secondary supervisor) – Automated HACCP systems in small scale environments
  • Ansley Kasambara (secondary supervisor) - Maternal Health Data Consitency and Management: A Longitudinal Study in Chikhwawa District

Publications

  • Currie SL, Beattie TK, Knapp CW, Lindsay DSJ. Legionella spp. in UK composts – a potential public health issue. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2013. DOI: 10.1111/1469-0691.12381
  • Grimason AM, Morse TD, Beattie TK, Masangwi SJ, Jabu GC, Taulo SC, Lungu KK. Classification and quality of groundwater supplies in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi – Part 1: Physico-chemical quality of borehole water supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. Water SA 2013; 39 (4): 563-572. doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v39i4.16
  • Grimason AM, Beattie TK, Morse TD, Masangwi SJ, Jabu GC, Taulo SC, Lungu KK. Classification and quality of groundwater supplies in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi – Part 2: Classification of borehole water supplies in Chikhwawa, Malawi. Water SA 2013; 39 (4): 573-582. doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v39i4.17
  • Grimason AM, Masangwi SJ, Morse TD, Jabu GC, Beattie TK, Taulo SE, Lungu K. Knowledge, awareness and practice of the importance of hand-washing amongst children attending state run primary schools in rural Malawi. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 2013; DOI:10.1080/09603123.2013.782601
  • Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, Seal DV, McFadyen AK. Salicylate inhibition of acanthamoebal attachment to contact lenses. Optometry and Vision Science; 2011; 88 (12): 1422-1432.
  • Sakultantimetha A, Keenan HE, Beattie TK, et al. Bioremediation of tributyltin contaminated sediment. Chemosphere 2011; 83: 680-686.
  • Sakultantimetha A, Keenan HE, Beattie TK, et al. Effects of organic nutrients and growth factors on biostimulation of tributyltin removal by sediment microorganisms and Enterobacter cloacae. Appl Microbiol Biot 2011; 90(1): 353-360.
  • Sakultantimetha A, Keenan HE, Beattie TK, et al. Acceleration of tributyltin biodegradation by sediment microorganisms under optimized environmental conditions. Int Biodeter Biodegr 2010; 64: 467-473.
  • Beattie TK, Tomlinson A. The effect of surface treatment of silicone hydrogel contact lenses on the attachment of Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites. Eye Contact Lens 2009; 35 (6): 316-319.
  • Sakultantimetha A, Keenan HE, Dyer M, Beattie TK, Bangkedphol S, Songsasen A. Isolation of tributyltin-degrading bacteria Citrobacter braakii and Enterobacter cloacae from butyltin-polluted sediment. J ASTM International 2009; 6: 1-6
  • Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK. Attachment of Acanthamoeba to first- and second-generation silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Ophthalmology 2006; 113 (1); 117-125.
  • Booton GC, Rogerson A, Bonilla TD, Seal DV, Kelly DJ, Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, Lares-Villa F, Fuerst PA, Byers TJ. Molecular and physiological evaluation of subtropical environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba spp., causal agent of Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 2004; 51 (2): 92-200.
  • Beattie TK, Seal DV, Tomlinson A. Efficacy of anti-neoplastic drugs against Acanthamoeba. Proceedings of the 10th International Meeting on the Biology & Pathogenicity of Free-Living Amoebae. Instituto Tecnológico De Sonora, Cuidad Obregon, Mexico, 2003; ISSN 0187-9613.
  • Beattie TK, Seal DV, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK & Grimason AM. Amoebicidal activity of multipurpose contact lens solutions using a Most Probable Number (MPN) enumeration technique. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2003; 41: 2992-3000.
  • Seal DV, Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, Fan D and Wong E. Acanthamoeba keratitis. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2003; 87: 516-517.
  • Beattie TK, Tomlinson A & Seal DV. Surface treatment or material characteristic, the reason for the high level of Acanthamoebal attachment to silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Eye & Contact Lens: Science and Clinical Practice 2003; 29(1): S40-S43.
  • Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK, Seal DV & Grimason AM. Enhanced attachment of Acanthamoeba to extended-wear silicone hydrogel contact lenses: a new risk factor for infection? Ophthalmology 2003; 110: 765-771.
  • Beattie TK, Tomlinson A & Seal DV. Anti-Acanthamoeba efficacy in contact lens disinfecting system. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2002; 86:1319-1320.
  • Beattie TK & Anderton A. Decanting versus sterile pre-filled nutrient containers - the microbiological risks in enteral feeding. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 2001; 11: 81-93.
  • Beattie TK & Anderton A. Microbiological evaluation of four enteral feeding systems which have been subjected to faulty handling procedures. Journal of Hospital Infection 1999; 42: 11-20.
  • Beattie TK & Anderton A. Bacterial contamination of enteral feeding systems due to faulty handling procedures - a comparison of a new system with two established systems. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 1998; 11: 313-321.
  • Beattie TK & Anderton A. Enteral feeding tube guidewire - another factor in the retrograde contamination of enteral feeding systems? Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 1998; 11: 85-93.
  • Beattie TK & Anderton A. Use of hand washing/gloves during enteral tube feeding system assembly/handling. PEN Lines 1997; 11: 6.
  • Anderton A. & Beattie TK. Disinfection and cleaning of enteral tube feeding systems during assembly - results of a survey of practices. PEN Lines 1996; 9: 8.
  • Beattie TK, Anderton A & White S. Aspiration (of gastric residuals) - a cause of bacterial contamination of enteral feeding systems? Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 1996; 9: 105-115.


Projects

  • Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative (SCHI) - Healthy Settings

    Morse, Tracy (Co-investigator) Beattie, Tara (Principal Investigator)

    Period 01-May-2013 - 31-Mar-2016
  • FAST (for accelerated sustainable transformations) microbes

    Beattie, Tara (Academic)

    Period 01-Dec-2012 - 31-Mar-2013
  • Bug-free prostheses: Reducing infection risk and improving reliability

    Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator) Martin, Robert (Co-investigator) Meier, Margrit-Regula (Co-investigator) Sanchez, Marcelo (Co-investigator) Webb, Steven (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)

    Period 01-Nov-2009 - 30-Apr-2011

Related Links

Media Quotes

Legionella research

BBC News (October 2013)
The Herald (October 2013)
The Telegraph (October 2013)
The Times (October 2013)
ABC Online (October 2013)

Acanthamoeba research

Daily Mail (Sept. 2012)
British Science Association (Sept. 2012)
Belfast Telegraph (Sept. '12)