Microbial Diagnostics and Infection Control Research Group

Rapid point-of-care detection of Antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria 

By 2050 it is estimated that 10 million people worldwide will die as a result of being infected with drug-resistant bacteria (Lord Jim O’Neil, 2014). 

Bacteria which were previously susceptible to antibiotic treatment have evolved to develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics, rendering them ineffective to combat infection. 

Now there are fewer antibiotics available to treat patients with certain infections. 

Hence, there is a global drive not only to discover new antibiotics to combat these bacteria but also to develop new types of diagnostics that can help diagnose infection at the point of care. 

My research focuses on designing low cost, rapid (five minutes!), the point of care nucleic acid-based biosensor assays for detection of AMR resistance genes and other pathogens that work within minutes from sample to result. 

This research is multidisciplinary and encompasses the Engineering, Biology, Informatics and Chemistry disciplines. 

Specifically, I utilise precision microwave engineering to liberate bacterial/spore DNA for pathogen detection. 

I also design label-free biosensor assays using bioinformatics in aptamer design and in collaboration with materials science to explore the use of novel materials such as graphene within the assays. 

A key part of this research includes integration into a prototype point of care device ready for commercial uptake. I have more than ten years of experience in the development of novel microwave-enhanced rapid diagnostics for microbial detection.

This work has been entered to compete in the Longitude Prize Challenge.

Infection control

Clostridium difficile is the primary cause of hospital-acquired infection globally. In the US it contributes to 14 000 deaths/year, costing ~$1 billion annually (CDC, USA), while in the UK between 2006–2011 it was responsible for 29,425 deaths, (Office for National Statistics) costing £500 million/year.

Its spores are resistant to desiccation and microbicide treatment and are able to persist on surfaces for months.

My research focuses on understanding how C. difficile spores adhere to varying clinical surfaces and respond to biocidal insult, as well as using next-generation sequencing techniques to understand spore epidemiology.

This research is now being extended toward understanding how AMR pathogens persist in clinical environments.

Dr Tina Joshi Lecturer in Medical Microbiology

<p>Dr Tina Joshi</p>

External collaborators:

  • Dr Daniel Parades-Sabja, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile
  • Musgrove Park Hospital
  • Dr Suzie Hingley-Wilson, University of Surrey
  • Dr Pedro Estrela & Dr Despina Moschou, University of Bath
  • Dr Jean van den Elsen, University of Bath 
  • Dr Jonathan Tyrrell, Cardiff University
  • Dr Robert Burky, Orthopaedic surgeon, Southern California, USA.


  • Dyer, C.M., Hutt, L.P., Burky, R. & Joshi, L.T. 2019. "Biocide resistance and transmission of Clostridium difficile spores spiked onto clinical surfaces from an American healthcare facility". Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 10.1128/AEM.01090-19
  • Joshi LT, Welsch A, Hawkins J & Baillie L 2017 'The effect of hospital biocide sodium dichloroisocyanurate on the viability and properties of Clostridium difficile spores' Letters in Applied Microbiology, DOI PEARL
  • Imtiaz A, Lees J, Choi H & Joshi LT 2015 'An Integrated Continuous Class -F−1 Mode Power Amplifier Design Approach for Microwave Enhanced Portable Diagnostic Applications' IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques 63, (10) 3007-3015, DOI PEARL

<p>Clostridium difficile spores survive on hospital gowns after disinfection with chlorine at 1000 ppm (recommended guidelines).<br></p>

Clostridium difficile spores survive on hospital gown fibres after disinfection with chlorine at 1000 ppm

Listen to Dr Tina Joshi talk about her work. ‘Ask a Biologist’ at New Scientist Live 2017.

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