Dr Michael Beeton

​Dr Mike Beeton

​Job Title:           Lecturer in Medical Microbiology
Room No:         D2.08
Telephone No: 029 2020 5557
Email Address: mbeeton@cardiffmet.ac.uk


First Year tutor for Biomedical Sciences Programme.

My teaching interests cover all levels of medical microbiology and infection sciences from foundation through to MSc.  

Modules I am in​volved with:


  • APS4008 -  Infection and Immunity - Module leader​
  • APS5015 - Principles and Practices of Infection Sciences
  • APS5021 - Infection Sciences - Specialism A
  • APS6017 - Infection Science - Specialism B
  • APS6022 - Research Project
  • ASF3007 - Biological Sciences
  • APS6008 - Contemporary Topics in Biomedical Science


  • MBS7008 - Medical Microbiology - Module leader
  • MBS7009 - Advanced Topics in Medical Microbiology
  • MBS7010 - Dissertation


Role of Ureaplasma spp.in human infection

My primary research interest focuses on the pathogens Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum.Ureaplasma spp. are the most commonly isolated organism from the chorioamnion and amniotic fluid among patients presenting with preterm labour and have been associated with numerous chronic infections such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) and infectious arthritis.  

My focused research interests include:

Monitoring the prevalence and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance among UK Ureaplasma isolates 

  • Treatment of Ureaplasma infections are complicated due to a lack of effective antibiotics as a consequence of the unique physiology of these organisms.  Treatment options are further restricted among preterm neonates due to the contraindication of some antibiotics as a result of associated toxicities in this patient group.  A final confounding factor in treatment is the presence of antibiotic resistant strains.  In collaboration with Dr Brad Spiller (Cardiff University) and Dr Vicki Chalker (Public Health England) we have successfully monitored the prevalence of acquired antibiotic resistance among UK populations over a number of years. These data have been used to guide clinical practice as well as compare UK figures with those on an international scale.

  • There is a strong association between the presence of bacterial biofilms and development of chronic infections.  Although these bacterial communities and their impact on disease are well characterised for many pathogens, very little is known with respect to Ureaplasma spp.  Using a variety of in vitro static and flow models, in addition to in vivo models, in collaboration with the University of Western Australia, my research group has been able to further understand the how Ureaplasma spp., which are self-toxic over time, are able to exist in such communities.

The role in which Ureaplasma spp. play in the development of NGU has been controversial, but recent findings have indicated a number of risk factors for symptomatic outcome.  The Beeton research group aim to characterise the host immune response among males presenting with NGU as a result of Ureaplasma colonisation.​


​​Confocal scanning laser microscopy image of 72 hour U. parvum biofilms. 
Adherent cells were then stained with Syto9 (left) or Hoechst 33342 (right) after a total of 72 hours. ​



As an active member of the Infection Research Group based at Cardiff Metropolitan University I work collaboratively with a number of internal and external collaborators.  

External collaborators

  • Prof John Newnham – University of Western Australia
  • Dr Matt Payne – University of Western Australia
  • Lucy Furfaro – University of Western Australia
  • Dr Diana Alves – University of Brighton
  • Dr Steven Coles – University of Worcester      

Past members of the Beeton Laboratory

  • Lucy Andrews - Society for Applied Microbiology - Students into Work Grant (2017)
  • Girish Appalsawmy – Volunteer (2016)
  • Shubham Sahu – Microbiology Society – Harry Smith Vacation Studentship (2016)
  • Kirsty Hillitt – Society for Applied Microbiology – Students into Work Grant (2015)​



Beeton MLZhang XS, Uldum SA, Bébéar C, Dumke R, Gullsby K, Ieven M, Loens K, Nir-Paz R, Pereyre S, Spiller OB, Chalker VJ and the ESCMID Study Group for Mycoplasma and Chlamydia Infections (ESGMAC) Mycoplasma pneumoniae sub-group. Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections across Europe and Israel (2011-2016). Eurosurveillance. 2019. In Press

Beeton ML, Payne MS and Jones LC. The role of Ureaplasma spp. in the development of non-gonococcal urethritis and infertility among men. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2019. Jul 3;32(4). pii: e00137-18. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00137-18

van Gorp C, de Lange IH, Spiller OB, Dewez F, Cillero Pastor B, Heeren RMA, Kessels L, Kloosterboer N, van Gemert WG, Beeton ML, Stock SJ, Jobe AH, Payne MS, Kemp MW, Zimmermann LJ, Kramer BW, Plat J and Wolfs TGAM. Protection of the Ovine Fetal Gut against Ureaplasma-Induced Chorioamnionitis: A Potential Role for Plant Sterols. Nutrients. 2019 Apr 27;11(5). doi: 10.3390/nu11050968.


Beeton ML and Spiller OB. Antibiotic resistance among Ureaplasma spp isolates; cause for concern? J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017. Feb;72(2):330-337 doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw425

Gussenhoven R, Ophelders DRMG, Kemp MW, Payne MS, Spiller OB, Beeton ML, Stock SJ, Cillero-Pastor B, Barré FPY, Heeren RMA, Kessels L, Stevens B, Rutten BP, Kallapur SG, Jobe AH, Kramer BW, Wolfs TGAM. The Paradoxical Effects of Chronic Intra-Amniotic Ureaplasma parvum Exposure on Ovine Fetal Brain Development. Dev Neurosci. 2017;39(6):472-486. doi: 10.1159/000479021.


Kemp MW, Ahmed S, Beeton ML, Payne MS, Saito M, Mirua Y, Usuda H, Kallapur SG, Kramer BW, Stock SJ, Jobe AH, Newnham JP, Spiller OB.Fetal Ureaplasma parvum bacteraemia as a function of gestation-dependent complement insufficiency: evidence from a sheep model of pregnancy.  Am J Reprod Immunol. 2016. doi: 10.1111/aji.12599. 

Hillitt K, Jenkins RE, Spiller OB and Beeton ML. Antimicrobial activity of Manuka honey against antibiotic resistant strains of the cell wall free bacteria Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2016 Dec 19. doi: 10.1111/lam.12707

Beeton ML, Maxwell NC, Chalker VJ, Brown RJ, Aboklaish AF, Spiller OB; ESCMID Study Group for Mycoplasma Infections. Isolation of Separate Ureaplasma Species From Endotracheal Secretions of Twin Patients. Pediatrics. 2016. PMID: 27418415

Alhusein N, Blagbrough IS, Beeton ML, Bolhuis A, De Bank PA. Electrospun Zein/PCL Fibrous Matrices Release Tetracycline in a Controlled Manner, Killing Staphylococcus aureus Both in Biofilms and Ex Vivo on Pig Skin, and are Compatible with Human Skin Cells. Pharm Res. 2016 Jan;33(1):237-46. doi: 10.1007/s11095-015-1782-3.


Beeton ML, Chalker VJ, Jones LC, Maxwell NC, Spiller OB. Antibiotic Resistance among Clinical Ureaplasma Isolates Recovered from Neonates in England and Wales between 2007 and 2013. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Oct 12;60(1):52-6. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00889-15.

Mulley G, Beeton ML, Wilkinson P, Vlisidou I, Ockendon-Powell N, Hapeshi A, Tobias NJ, Nollmann FI, Bode HB, van den Elsen J, Ffrench-Constant RH, Waterfield NR.From Insect to Man: Photorhabdus Sheds Light on the Emergence of Human Pathogenicity. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 17;10(12):e0144937. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144937.

Beeton ML. Possible missed diagnosis of Ureaplasma spp infection in a case of fatal hyperammonemia after repeat renal transplantation. J Clin Anesth. 2015 Sep 28. pii: S0952-8180(15)00268-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2015.08.019

Beeton ML, Alves DR, Enright MC, Jenkins AT. Assessing phage therapy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa using a Galleria mellonella infection model. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 Aug;46(2):196-200. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2015.04.005.

Nollmann FI, Heinrich AK, Brachmann AO, Morisseau C, Mukherjee K, Casanova-Torres ÁM, Strobl F, Kleinhans D, Kinski S, Schultz K, Beeton ML, Kaiser M, Chu YY, Phan Ke L, Thanwisai A, Bozhüyük KA, Chantratita N, Götz F, Waterfield NR, Vilcinskas A, Stelzer EH, Goodrich-Blair H, Hammock BD, Bode HB. A photorhabdus natural product inhibits insect juvenile hormone epoxide hydrolase.  Chembiochem. 2015 Mar 23;16(5):766-71. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201402650.

2006 - 2014

Beeton ML, Aldrich-Wright JR, Bolhuis A. The antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of copper(II) complexes. J Inorg Biochem. 2014 Nov;140:167-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2014.07.012.

Beeton ML, Atkinson DJ, Waterfield NR. An amoeba phagocytosis model reveals a novel developmental switch in the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensisJ Insect Physiol. 2013 Feb;59(2):223-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.06.011.

Yang G, Hernández-Rodríguez CS, Beeton ML, Wilkinson P, Ffrench-Constant RH, Waterfield NR. Pdl1 is a putative lipase that enhances Photorhabdus toxin complex secretion. PLoS Pathog. 2012;8(5):e1002692. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002692.

Beeton ML, Daha MR, El-Shanawany T, Jolles SR, Kotecha S, Spiller OB. Serum killing of Ureaplasma parvum shows serovar-determined susceptibility for normal individuals and common variable immuno-deficiency patients. Immunobiology. 2012 Feb;217(2):187-94. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2011.07.009.

Beeton ML, Maxwell NC, Davies PL, Nuttall D, McGreal E, Chakraborty M, Spiller OB, Kotecha S. Role of pulmonary infection in the development of chronic lung disease of prematurity. Eur Respir J. 2011 Jun;37(6):1424-30. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00037810.

Davies PL, Spiller OB, Beeton ML, Maxwell NC, Remold-O'Donnell E, Kotecha S. Relationship of proteinases and proteinase inhibitors with microbial presence in chronic lung disease of prematurity. Thorax. 2010 Mar;65(3):246-51. doi: 10.1136/thx.2009.116061.

Beeton ML, Chalker VJ, Kotecha S, Spiller OB. Comparison of full gyrAgyrBparC and parE gene sequences between all Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum serovars to separate true fluoroquinolone antibiotic resistance mutations from non-resistance polymorphism.  J Antimicrob Chemother. 2009 Sep;64(3):529-38. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkp218.

Beeton ML, Chalker VJ, Maxwell NC, Kotecha S, Spiller OB.Concurrent titration and determination of antibiotic resistance in ureaplasma species with identification of novel point mutations in genes associated with resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 May;53(5):2020-7. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01349-08.

Dale C, Beeton M, Harbison C, Jones T, Pontes M. Isolation, pure culture, and characterization of "Candidatus Arsenophonus arthropodicus," an intracellular secondary endosymbiont from the hippoboscid louse fly Pseudolynchia canariensisAppl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Apr;72(4):2997-3004.​​


Current Projects

Sir Halley Stewart Trust - Main Grant.  Oct 18 - Mar 21 
Title: Development of a rapid and cost-effective Point-of-Care diagnostic test for the detection of Ureaplasma infection among preterm neonates
Co-investigator: Dr Steven Coles (University of Worcester), Dr Maha Mansour (Singleton Hospital Swansea)

Past Projects

Society for Applied Microbiology – New Lecturer Research Grant. Jan 17 – Dec 17
Title: Can bacteria which are self-toxic form stable biofilms over time?
The Royal Society – International Exchanges Scheme. Mar 16 – Mar 18
Title: Biofilm formation in a lung model and development of phage therapeutics.

Funding in the Beeton laboratory has been support by the following bodies

​The Royal Society 

The Microbiology Society

The Society for Applied Microbiology

Cardiff Metropolitan University Research & Enterprise Services​


Professional bodies and Committees

  • Antimicrobial Resistance Officer for the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Study Group for Mycoplasma Infections (ESGMI) – https://www.escmid.org/
  • Microbiology Society representative for the Public Health England External Advisory Group for Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV
  • Department of Biomedical Sciences ethics panel
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/
  • Microbiology Society - http://www.microbiologysociety.org/
  • Society for Applied Microbiology - http://www.sfam.org.uk/​​​

Professional networking


Each year I contribute to the Department of Biomedical Sciences outreach programme, led by Dr Cath Withycombe​. These two day sessions allow students from local schools to get a taste of practical hands on microbiology.  These sessions additionally provide an opportunity to disseminate the research which is carried out here at Cardiff Metropolitan University.