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Our people-our expertise: Megan Staples

Our people-our expertise

Megan Staples

Qualifications | Research interests | Publications | Presentations | Memberships

Megan is a Senior Scientist in the Public Health Microbiology laboratory of Forensic and Scientific Services, Department of Health where she has worked since 2008.  She has previous experience as a scientist in other food microbiology, quality assurance microbiology, molecular microbiology research and forensic biology laboratories. 

Megan is based predominately in the Reference Laboratory where she uses both traditional and molecular methods for the isolation, identification and characterisation of notifiable pathogens of clinical significance in both PC2 and PC3 laboratories. 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Applied Science, Microbiology (Distinction). Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld.
  • Diploma of Leadership and Management, TAFE Queensland.

Research interests and expertise

  • Conventional and molecular characterisation and epidemiology of pathogens of public health significance
  • Design and application of new tests for the detection of novel and emerging bacterial pathogens
  • Serotyping and surveillance of enteric bacteria including Salmonella spp., Yersinia spp., and Vibrio spp., among others
  • Serotyping and surveillance of Streptococcus pneumoniae with special emphasis regarding continuing effectiveness of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Application of whole genome sequencing to enhance characterisation and surveillance of clinical pathogens within Public Health Microbiology

Publications

Phillips ZN, Brizuela C, Jennison AV, Staples M, Grimwood K, Seib KL, Jennings MP, Atack JM (2019) Analysis of invasive non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae isolates reveals a selection for the expression state of particular phase-variable lipooligosaccharide biosynthetic genes. Infection and immunity, 87(5). DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00093-19

Vasant BR, Stafford RJ, Jennison AV, Bennett SM, Bell RJ, Doyle CJ, Young JR, Vlack SA, Titmus P, El Saadi D, Jarvinen KAJ, Coward P, Barrett J, Staples M, Graham RMA, Smith HV, Lambert SB. (2017) Mild illness during outbreak of Shiga toxin−producing Escherichia coli O157 infections associated with agricultural show, Australia. Emerging INfectious Diseases, 23(10). DOI: 10.3201/eid2310.161836

Staples M, Graham RMA, Jennison AV (2017) Characterisation of invasive clinical Haemophilus influenzae isolates in Queensland, Australia using whole-genome sequencing. Epidemiology and Infection, 145 (8) : 1727-1736. DOI: 10.1017/S0950268817000450

Staples M, Graham RMA, Hicks V, Strachan J, Gonçalves da Silva A, Peverall J, Wicks V, Jennison AV (2017) Discovery of Streptococcus pneumoniae serogroup 35 variants in Australian patients. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 23(7) : 476-479. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmi.2016.12.029

Staples M, Fang NX, Graham RMA, Smith HV, Jennison AV (2017) Evaluation of the SHIGA TOXIN QUIK CHEK and ImmunoCard STAT! EHEC as screening tools for the detection of Shiga toxin in faecal specimens. Diagostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease, 87(2): 95-99. DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2016.03.011

Staples M, Graham RM, Jennison AV, Ariotti L, Cook H, Krause V, Giele C, Smith HV (2015) Molecular characterization of an Australian serotype 1 Streptococcus pneumoniae outbreak. Epidemiology and Infection, 143(2):325-333. DOI: 10.1017/S0950268814000648

Staples M, Jennison AV, Ariotti L, Hicks V, Graham RM, Smith HV (2014) Prevalence and molecular characterisation of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6C in Queensland, Australia. Diagnostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease, 78(3):307-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2013.11.017

Staples M, Graham RM, Doyle CJ, Jennison AV (2013) Molecular epidemiological typing of Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains from Australian patients. Diagnostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease, 75(3):320-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2012.11.010

Staples M, Jennison AV, Graham RM, Smith HV (2012) Evaluation of the Meridian Premier EHEC Assay as an indicator of Shiga toxin presence in direct faecal specimens. Diagnostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease, 73(4):322-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2012.05.004

Staples M, Graham RM, Doyle CJ, Smith HV, Jennison AV (2011) Prolonged and mixed non-O157 Escherichia coli infection in an Australian household. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 18(5): E140-3. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03790.x

Hanna JN, Humphreys JL, Jennison AV, Penny M, Smith HV (2010) Serotype 6C invasive pneumococcal disease in indigenous people in North Queensland. Communicable Diseases Intelligence, 34(2):122-3. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-cdi3402f.htm

Presentations

July 2019: S. Enteritidis outbreak in North Qld (not related to eggs). In: Australia and New Zealand Enteric Reference Network (ANZERN), Wellington, New Zealand.

July 2019: S. Waycross Gold Coast environmental project. In: Australia and New Zealand Enteric Reference Network (ANZERN), Wellington, New Zealand.

July 2019: Qld Enteric laboratory surveillance report. In: Australia and New Zealand Enteric Reference Network (ANZERN), Wellington, New Zealand.

July 2019: Surveillance of Shigella spp. in Queensland through culture and genomics. In: Australia and New Zealand Enteric Reference Network (ANZERN), Wellington, New Zealand.

March 2019: Surveillance of Shigella spp. in Queensland through culture and genomics. In: Public Health Physicians F2F Meeting, Brisbane, Qld.

March 2019: Surveillance of Shigella spp. in Queensland through culture and genomics. In: ASM Clinical SIG, Qld.

June 2018: Introducing the BioFire FilmArray GastroIntestinal Panel. In: Public Health Nurses F2F meeting, Brisbane, Qld.

May 2018: Introducing the BioFire FilmArray GastroIntestinal Panel. In: Public and Environmental Health Forum Series, Forensic and Scientific Services, Qld.

April 2018: A snapshot of invasive pneumococcal disease in Queensland, Australia: the effect of PCV13 and emerging serotypes [poster]. In: 11th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD), Melbourne, Victoria.

February 2018: Introducing the BioFire FilmArray GastroIntestinal Panel. In: Public Health Nurses F2F meeting, Brisbane, Qld.

May 2016: Characterisation of invasive Group A Streptococci in Queensland. In: Public Health Medical Officers F2F Meeting, Brisbane, Qld.

Mar 2016: Genotyping of Group A Streptococcus by whole genome sequencing [poster]. In: 5th Annual Molecular Microbiology Meeting, Sydney, NSW.

Sep 2015: Invasive Haemophilus influenzae in Queensland, Australia 2000-2013 [poster]. In: 13th congress EMGM (European Meningococcal Disease Society), The Netherlands.

Sep 2015: Invasive Pneumococcal disease in Queensland, Australia 2001-2014 [poster]. In: 13th congress EMGM (European Meningococcal Disease Society), The Netherlands.

Feb 2014: Characterisation of Streptococcus pyogenese (GAS) in Queensland. In: ID/Micro meeting, The Prince Charles Hospital, Qld.

Jul 2014: Evaluation of the SHIGA TOXIN QUIK CHEK and Immunocard STAT! EHEC as screening tools for the detection of Shiga toxin in faecal specimens [poster]. In: ASM, Melbourne, Victoria.

Jul 2014: Laboratory investigation and molecular epidemiology characterisation of the largest Australian shiga-toxin Escherichia coli O157 outbreak [poster], with Jennison AV, Doyle CJ, Graham RM, Fang NX, and Smith HV. In: ASM, Melbourne, Victoria.

Mar 2013: Molecular characterisation of an Australian serotype 1 Streptococcus pneumoniae outbreak [poster]. In: Communicable Disease Control, Canberra, ACT.

Mar 2013: Incidence and characterisation of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli in Queensland patients, 2007-2011 [poster]. In: Communicable Disease Control, Canberra, ACT.

Oct 2012: Epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae: A Queensland perspective. In: Pathology Queensland Grand Rounds; Forensic and Scientific Services Communicable Disease Forum, Qld.

Jun-Jul 2012: Epidemiology of invasive Pneumococcal disease in Queensland, Australia 2001-2011. In: ASM; PHAA 13th National Immunisation Conference, Darwin, NT.

Mar 2012: Identification of Shiga toxin type 1 and 2 subtypes in Queensland STEC isolates [poster]. In: ASM, Brisbane, Qld.

Mar 2012: Detection and molecular investigation of Shiga toxigenic E.coli in Queensland. In: OzFoodNet face-to-face meeting.

2012-2011: Development of the Vero Cell Shiga toxin Neutralisation Assay.  In: Public Health Medical Officers face-to-face meeting; Forensic and Scientific Services Communicable Diseases Forum, Qld.

Megan Staples
Senior Scientist, Microbiology
Public and Environmental Health
email: megan.staples@health.qld.gov.au
phone: +61 7 3096 2829