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Full NameDr Liam Burke


National University of Ireland Galway

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Research Fields
  • genetics, genomics and molecular biology
  • infectious disease and the immune system
  • epidemiology/population health research
  • one health
  • Other
Other Research Fields:

Antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic pathogens

Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
  • General Practice
  • Public Health
Medical Subspecialties
  • Community Medicine
  • Health Informatics
  • Infectious diseases
My Work

My research focuses on antimicrobial resistant (AMR) and virulent pathogens of human health importance, specifically ESBL-producing and Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacterales and Verotoxigenic E. coli. I'm interested in understanding their resistance and virulence mechanisms and tracking their spread in a one health context (between humans, animals and the built and natural environment). My ultimate goal is to provide information and technologies that can inform interventions that might limit the spread of AMR bacteria and pathogens to vulnerable individuals in hospitals and the community and limit the dissemination of mobile antimicrobial resistance platforms. Our research group uses genomics, bioinformatics and rapid molecular diagnostics to this end and we work closely with both medical scientists and clinical microbiologists in the national CPE reference laboratory and public health doctors, as well as environmental scientists, epidemiologists, engineers and social scientists.

Some publications:
Farrell ML, Joyce A, Duane S, Fitzhenry K, Hooban B, Burke LP and Morris D. Evaluating the potential for exposure to organisms of public health concern in naturally occurring bathing waters in Europe: A scoping review. Water Research 2021; DOI:

Chique C, Hynds P, Burke LP, Morris D, Ryan MP and O'Dwyer J. Contamination of domestic groundwater systems by verotoxigenic escherichia coli (VTEC), 2003–2019: A global scoping review.
Water Research 2021; DOI:

Burke, L., Humphreys, H., Fitzgerald-Hughes, D. The Molecular Epidemiology of Resistance in Cefotaximase-Producing Escherichia coli Clinical Isolates from Dublin, Ireland. Microbial Drug Resistance 2016; 22 (7): 552-558.

Burke, L., Hopkins, K. L., Meunier, D., de Pinna, E., Fitzgerald-Hughes, D., Humphreys, H., Woodford, N. Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins in human non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica isolates from England and Wales, 2010-2012. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2014 Apr; 69(4):977-81.

Burke, L., Humphreys, H., and Fitzgerald-Hughes, D. The revolving door between hospital and community: extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in Dublin. The Journal of Hospital Infection, 2012. 81(3): p. 192-8.

Potential Projects

PhD projects could investigate healthcare associated infection with AMR bacteria, ways to prevent their persistence and transmission in hospital environments, understanding the molecular epidemiology of endemic resistance plasmids in Irish clinical CPE isolates, the dissemination of AMR bacteria and AMR plasmids from hospital wastewater effluent to natural waters, novel rapid detection methods for zoonotic pathogens and AMR bacteria for public health outbreak investigations.

Emerging Supervisor

Prof Dearbháile Morris