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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests lie in using sequence data to study bacterial pathogens, both from a point of view of managing infections (molecular epidemiology) but also in terms of understanding fundamental evolutionary dynamics. The early part of my research career was spent generating and interpreting multilocus sequence typing (MLST) data for numerous species. I developed the BURST algorithm to help visualise these datasets (J Bacteriol. 186(5):1518-30). More recently, I have focussed on whole genome sequence (WGS) data, and was joint lead author on the first demonstration of WGS data for molecular epidemiology (Science 327: 5964 469-474). I am currently a PI on a large CRCUK project, headed by Prof Sharon Peacock, looking at implementing this technology into routine epidemiological surveillance, and was previously a work package leader on the FP7 Project TROCAR, headed by Prof Jordi Villa, which aimed to characterise and manage high risk antibiotic resistant clones in Europe.

I also have a strong interest in using whole genome sequencing (WGS) to understand and manage the spread of bacterial pathogens in animals. I was a PI on consortium funded under the insect pollinator initiative looking at the epidemiology of European Foul Brood in honeybees, and am currently PI on the BBSRC/NERC funded project wgs-aqua.net, which aims to deploy WGS to manage bacterial pathogens of aquaculture (in collaboration with Cefas, Weymouth, the University of Stirling and the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute).

In addition to molecular epidemiology, WGS data of bacterial pathogens can shed light on basic evolutionary questions concerning diversification; mutation, recombination and selection. Research questions include the strength of selection on intergenic sites, codon bias, context dependant mutation, the maintenance of GC content, INDEL formation, and gene essentiality.

I was awarded the Zoological Society of London Scientific Medal in 2010, and am an ISI highly cited researcher for 2015.

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Projects 2009 2020


Feil, E.


Project: Research council

public health
early warning system
health status
infectious disease
environmental fate
environmental effect
health impact

Future Research Leaders Incubator Scheme - Harry Thorpe

Feil, E.


Project: Research-related fundingInternational Relations Office Funding

molecular epidemiology
public health

Research Output 2001 2019

Using the wax moth larva Galleria mellonella infection model to detect emerging bacterial pathogens

Hernandez, R. J., Hesse, E., Dowling, A. J., Coyle, N. M., Feil, E. J., Gaze, W. H. & Vos, M., 1 Jan 2019, In : PeerJ. 6, 1, p. e6150 e6150.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Disease-associated genotypes of the commensal skin bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis

Méric, G., Mageiros, L., Pensar, J., Laabei, M., Yahara, K., Pascoe, B., Kittiwan, N., Tadee, P., Post, V., Lamble, S., Bowden, R., Bray, J. E., Morgenstern, M., Jolley, K. A., Maiden, M. C. J., Feil, E. J., Didelot, X., Miragaia, M., de Lencastre, H., Moriarty, T. F. & 5 othersRohde, H., Massey, R., Mack, D., Corander, J. & Sheppard, S. K., 1 Dec 2018, In : Nature Communications. 9, 1, 11 p., 5034.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Open Access
Liquid chromatography
detection method

Evidence for an effect of landscape connectivity on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto dispersion in a zone of range expansion

Mechai, S., Margos, G., Feil, E. J., Lindsay, L. R., Michel, P., Kotchi, S. O. & Ogden, N. H., 2 Jul 2018, In : Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Borrelia burgdorferi
Lyme disease
Lyme Disease
2 Citations (Scopus)

Gene exchange drives the ecological success of a multi-host bacterial pathogen

Richardson, E. J., Bacigalupe, R., Harrison, E. M., Weinert, L. A., Lycett, S., Vrieling, M., Robb, K., Hoskisson, P. A., Holden, M. T. G., Feil, E. J., Paterson, G. K., Tong, S. Y. C., Shittu, A., van Wamel, W., Aanensen, D. M., Parkhill, J., Peacock, S. J., Corander, J., Holmes, M. & Fitzgerald, J. R., 1 Sep 2018, In : Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2, 9, p. 1468-1478 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Staphylococcus aureus