Public health microbiology


Public Health Microbiology (PHM) incorporates microbiology in the field of human health and disease alongside microbiology for:

  • animals
  • food
  • water
  • the environment

PHM also facilitates the monitoring of known and emerging threats and the evaluation of effective interventions, to ensure public health action and policy can be developed.

This requires laboratory scientists, epidemiologists, and clinicians to generate, integrate, analyse and communicate epidemic intelligence, as is summarised in the following diagram.

This flow diagram displays the key elements and outcomes for the Public Health Microbiology. Data feed is received by the information system from Diagnostic Human Microbiology and Reference Microbiology Services; Animal Microbiology Services; Food, Water & Environmental Microbiology Services, University Collaboration and Research. Expert advice on epidemic surveillance for collaboration, data analysis and integration is provided by Data Scientists, Laboratory Scientists, Epidemiologists, Clinicians, Software Experts and Statisticians to define and shape Public Health Action and Policy.

The Public Health Microbiology Strategy for Scotland outlines the key functions of PHM in Scotland as:

  • monitoring, alert and response
  • technical expertise
  • clinical and scientific advice
  • workforce development
  • reference microbiology
  • collaboration and research

Collaboration and co-ordination are critical for the development and delivery of the strategy and it will be necessary to bring together partners across Scotland and beyond to accurately define the challenges and to prioritise them, ensuring that we support the delivery of data for surveillance and provide comprehensive scientific expertise.

The team

Our PHM team includes:

  • Cath Arnold, Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Operational Lead
  • Sandra Currie, Healthcare Scientist
  • Matt Holden, WGS Adviser
  • Fiona Fleming, Scottish Health Protection Network (SHPN) Programme Portfolio Manager
  • Trish Kennedy, Service Manager
  • Annette Little, Project Manager PHM
  • Michael Lockhart, Clinical Lead for PHM, Consultant Medical Microbiologist
  • Kirsty Mangin, Data Manager
  • Victoria Niven, SHPN PSO
  • Stefan Rooke, Genome Analyst
  • Amy Ross, Data Officer
  • Sharif Shaaban, Bioinformatician
  • Dave Yirrell, Consultant Virologist
  • Andy Young, Data Manager


The team can be contacted at is