Consultant Microbiologist

David Wareham is a Consultant Microbiologist at Barts and The London and Newham University NHS Trusts.

David’s job has two main areas: diagnosing infections and medical research. Patients with cystic fibrosis often get bacteria infections in their chest. When patients get a chest infection a nurse will take a cough swab or sputum sample and send it to the microbiology laboratory in the hospital.

David and the Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers (MLSOs) working in the laboratory will examine the sample to diagnose which bacteria the patient is infected with, and which antibiotics they should take to treat the infection.

One of the types of bacteria that cystic fibrosis patients are often infected with is pseudomonas aeruginosa. David often meets with medical staff working in the hospital to discuss patients’ infections and the best course of treatment.

The other main aspect of David’s job is research. He does most of his research at QMUL, and is particularly interested in pseudomonas aeruginosa. He looks at how pseudomonas aeruginosa causes disease, and why cystic fibrosis patients get this organism.

By looking at how pseudomonas aeruginosa resist antibiotics, and how they cause damage to the body (for example through producing toxins), David hopes that new antibiotics to treat pseudomonas aeruginosa can be developed. These antibiotics might treat the infection by, for example, by targeting the toxins produced by these bacteria.

David trained as a doctor before competing specialist training in medical microbiology.