Ureaplasma spp.in human infection
My primary research interest focuses on the pathogens
Ureaplasma parvum and
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
- 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
Confocal scanning laser microscopy image of 72 hour
U. parvum biofilms. Adherent cells were then stained with (left) Syto9 or (right) Hoechst 33342 after a total of 72 hours.
Invertebrate models of infection
As part of my post-doctoral work I became interested in the use of invertebrates as a model for infection. Compared with mammalian models this system is cost effective, does not require specialised housing facilities and benefits from reduced ethical implications. These factors make the invertebrate model a feasible intermediate between
in vitro studies and larger scale
in vivo mammalian work. I have successfully used these models to examine bacterial virulence factors as well to test novel anti-invectives therapies.
Galleria mellonella infection model provides a reliable and inexpensive means to examine the virulence of pathogens as well as examining the efficacy of novel antimicrobial compounds
G. mellonella on the left have received sterile saline, whereas those on the right have received a lethal dose of
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.
- Dr Brad Spiller – Cardiff University
- Dr Lucy Jones – Cardiff University
- 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
- 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 ML and Spiller OB. Antibiotic resistance among
Ureaplasma spp isolates; cause for concern?
J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016.
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.
parvum bacteraemia as a function of gestation-dependent complement insufficiency: evidence from a sheep model of pregnancy.
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
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.
Alhusein N, Blagbrough IS,
Beeton ML, Bolhuis A, De Bank PA. Electrospun Zein/PCL Fibrous Matrices Release Tetracycline in a Controlled Manner, Killing
aureus Both in Biofilms and
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, 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
aeruginosa using a
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.
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
J 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
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
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.
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
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Apr;72(4):2997-3004.
Current ProjectsSociety 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
Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mike_Beeton
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.