Photo of Em P Alan McCarthy

Em P Alan McCarthy B.Sc., Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor of Microbiology Functional and Comparative Genomics


Molecular microbial ecology and pathogens in the environment.

Application of molecular biological techniques to the analysis of microbial activity in the environment. Latterly, this has included the application of metagenomics to detection and monitoring of viruses in aquatic water courses. The research was largely funded by NERC, and collaborators included earth scientists and geochemists at Liverpool and Plymouth universities, and microbiologists at Bangor University.
Development of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) approaches to the monitoring of water quality in relation to urbanization in China, in collaboration with Dr. Sekar Raju at XJTLU in Suzhou.
Shigatoxigenic (Stx) bacteriophage: molecular biology and epidemiology. Shigatoxigenic bacteria, including E.coli 0157, are particularly virulent due primarily to the production of a toxin that is encoded by bacteriophage. We are interested in the molecular biological mechanisms underlying the infection process (supported by BBSRC) and the role of these bacteriophage in survival and spread of the toxin genes in the farm environment, as cattle are the principal reservoir of shigatoxigenic E.coli.
Histoplasmosis in horses: the development of molecular methods applicable in the developing world for the diagnosis of epizootic lymphangitis in working equids, suppported primarily by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship to Dr. Claire Scantlebury.

Research Grants
  • Examining the presence and clinical presentation of Histoplasmosis among equids from West Africa
  • 2014 allocation - Wellcome ISSF non clinical fellowships
  • Development of rapid diagnostic procedures for epizootic lymphangitis in horses
  • New approaches for the quantitative detection of human pathogenic viruses within the freshwater-marine continuum
  • Metagenomics of cellulose degrading communities
  • Molecular biological characterisation of the anaerobic microbial community that drives cellulose decomposition in lake systems.
  • Aquatic microbial metagenomes and biogeochemical cycles.
  • The genotypic and phenotypic impacts of Shiga toxin encoding bacteriophage interactions with their host cells: consequences for food borne zoonoses
  • Verocytotoxin-encoding bacteriophages - ecology and role in disease (Bacteriophage).
  • Molecular characterisation of the processes responsible for toxigenic conversion of E.coli by VT-bacteriophages.
  • Molecular diagnosis of histoplasmosis in Ethiopian horses
Research Collaborations

University of Bangor

Project: New approaches for the quantitative detection of human pathogenic viruses within the freshwater-marine continuum