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Our first Focused Meeting of the year Anaerobe 2019: Changing perceptions of anaerobic bacteria; from pathogen to the normal microbiota and back is being organised in collaboration with the Society for Anaerobic Microbiology and Welsh Microbiological Association.

Anaerobic clinical microbiology remains a challenge due to the specialist culture requirements, coupled with the increase in and spread of antimicrobial resistance. The normal human microbiota, is primarily composed of anaerobic bacteria, and is now recognised as a source of life-threatening anaerobic infection. More recent metataxonomic and metagenomic sequencing has extended interest in the potential role of the microbiota in a plethora of other aspects of human health, from obesity to mental health. In addition, the successful use of faecal microbiota transplants for the treatment of clostridial infection raises potential unchartered long-term consequences and possibilities.

This meeting will provide scientific insights into the future impact of anaerobic bacteria in human health and disease, addressing the implications of recent microbiota studies as well as the continued threat of emerging and re-emerging anaerobic infection.

This Focused Meeting will take place on 13–14 June 2019 at Jurys Inn Cardiff.

Organising committee:
  • Sheila Patrick (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  • Trefor Morris (Public Health Wales, UK)
  • David Clarke (University College Cork, Ireland)
  • Kelly Ward (Welsh Microbiology Association, UK)
Key topics:
  • Gram-negative anaerobic infection: lethal and chronic opportunists
  • The microbiota: what is normal?
  • Clostridium difficile: why is it still difficult?

*Please note that abstract titles in the programme are provisional. 

Follow us on Twitter @MicrobioSoc. Updates on Anaerobe 2019 can be found using the hashtag: #Anaerobe19

Image: Dennis Kunkel Microscopy/Science Photo Library.




Lecture View

Thursday 13 June

Friday 14 June


Below you can find more information about our invited speakers, who will present their work and research at Anaerobe 2019: Changing perceptions of anaerobic bacteria; from pathogen to the normal microbiota and back.

Professor Sheila Patrick (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

speaker photo Sheila Patrick.jpg

Sheila Patrick is Professor Emerita at Queen's University Belfast and part-time Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Sheila works on the resident human microbiota and opportunistic infection. She researches the obligately anaerobic bacterium Bacteroides fragilis which resides in the human gut but can cause life-threatening infection if it escapes from the gut as a result of, for example, rupture of an inflamed appendix. She also researches the skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, it's role in implant infection and the taxonomic relationship of the different types of P. acnes which she and colleagues have validly published as sub-species acnes and defendens.

Professor Hannah Wexler (UCLA, US)


Professor Hannah Wexler is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine and a Principal Investigator at GLAVAHCS. She served as Chair and Councilor of Division A of the American Society of Microbiology in 2011–2012 and received a Career Scientist Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her review of Bacteroides (Bacteroides: the Good, the Bad and the Nitty - Gritty) is used as a basic information source for those studying this organism. She has contributed chapters to prestigious medical textbooks on Bacteroides, Anaerobic Bacteria and Drug Resistance. Her research focuses on Bacteroides fragilis, a normal commensal of the human gut that can transform into a virulent pathogen if it escapes its niche. She studies the mechanisms this bacterium uses to establish surgical site infections and to resist antimicrobials, and plans to use these studies to craft treatments that will specific target virulent strains of B. fragilis.

Dr Harriet Hughes (Public Health Wales, UK)


Dr Harriet Hughes is a Consultant in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. As Clinical Lead for the UK Anaerobe Reference Unit, Harriet provides advice on the clinical management of anaerobic infections across the UK and supports the research output of the unit, including the ongoing surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and the utilisation of genomics in clinically relevant anaerobic pathogens. She also has a special interest in bone and joint infection, and has developed and leads the Microbiology-Orthopaedic liaison service in Cardiff, which deals with complicated infection on a tertiary basis. She is also the Training Programme Director for specialty training in medical microbiology in Wales.

Dr Robert Centor (University of Alabama, US)


Dr Centor graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1975 and did his residency and chief residency there. He worked in the Division of General Internal Medicine (GIM) there until 1993, serving first as Residency Program Director and then division chief. He moved to University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 1993, started the Division of GIM and served as the initial Associate Dean for Primary Care. From 2004 until 2017 he served as the Regional Dean of the Huntsville Campus. He has served many societies in leadership positions – President of Society for Medical Decision Making, Association of Chiefs of GIM, Society of GIM, and Chair of the Board of Regents for the American College of Physicians.

His primary research interest has focused on adult pharyngitis, creating the score that carries his name. More recently his studies have focused on Fusobacterium necrophorum and its role in adult pharyngitis.

Professor Eshawar Mahenthiralingamen (Cardiff University, UK)


Professor Eshwar Mahenthiralingam is a Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University. His current research focuses on Burkholderia and Pseudomonas bacteria, and their multiple interactions from infections to biotechnology and antibiotic discovery. He has studied cystic fibrosis lung infections for over 25 years, moving forward from an understanding of Burkholderia and Pseudomonas as pathogens, to developing a holistic microbiome-based view of this polymicrobial infection.


Dr Riina Rautemaa-Richardson (Manchester University, UK)


Dr Riina Rautemaa-Richardson is a clinician, researcher and educationalist with expertise in mucosal microbiology & immunity, medical microbiology & mycology and infectious diseases. She is the Clinical Lead for Infectious Diseases for the Manchester University Foundation Trust, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer and a PI at the University of Manchester. Her research group undertakes basic research (genomics, pathogenesis and mechanisms of antimicrobial drug resistance and carcinogenicity of microbial acetaldehyde production), applied laboratory work (models of pathogenesis, molecular diagnostics, antifungal resistance testing, pharmacology of new antimicrobials), and clinical studies. To date she has published a total of over 130 peer-reviewed articles and books or book chapters in the field of medical microbiology, mucosal immunology, infectious diseases and oral medicine.

Dr Sarah Kuehne (University of Birmingham, UK)


Dr Sarah Kuehne is a Lecturer in Oral Microbiology and the Lead of the Oral Microbiology Research Group in the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests are centred on the human microbiota in health and disease. She focuses on understanding bacterial communication and host–bacterial interactions to define new pathways for treating bacterial infections. Anaerobic bacteria and their role in pathogenesis and health are at the centre of her research.


Dr Emma Barnard (Queen's University Belfast, UK)


Dr Emma Barnard obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from Queen’s University Belfast in 2009, and continued to work in the area of microbiology with a postdoctoral career within the university, working alongside Professor Sheila Patrick. Her early postdoctoral research was mainly focused on understanding the role of the skin bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, in the aetiology of prostate cancer. In 2012, she took up a position at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, to further her interest in work on P. acnes, including understanding strain level diversity in health and disease, and elucidating the pathogenic and health-conferring potential of this ubiquitous bacterium under different host conditions. As a project scientist at UCLA, her research focus was to understand the composition and functions of the human skin microbiome, and its interaction with the host, in both health and disease. In 2017, she returned to the UK, where she currently works as a Lecturer in Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast.

Dr Hilary Browne (Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK)


Dr Hilary Browne is a Staff Scientist in the Host-Microbiota Interactions Laboratory led by Dr Trevor Lawley at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The Host-Microbiota Interactions Laboratory have developed techniques to culture the majority of the intestinal microbiota. This provides a valuable resource to understand the underlying biology of these health-promoting bacteria and also to study their role in different diseases through a combination of genomic approaches, in vitro analyses and in vivo models. In addition, these bacteria can be used to develop therapeutics to treat diseases associated with the intestinal microbiota. Hilary is particularly interested in the role of spore-forming bacteria in the human intestinal microbiota, their ecology and evolution and how spore-formation promotes transmission of commensal health-promoting anaerobic bacteria between individuals.

Dr Jonathan Sutton (BCUHB Bangor Wales, UK)


Dr Jonathan Sutton is a general physician and gastroenterologist working in Bangor North Wales (BCUHB). He started performing Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in 2014, having set up a service in North Wales. To date, the unit has performed in the region of 50 FMT’s, taking referrals both locally and nationally. He is a member of the British Society of Gastroenterology’s Gut Microbiota for Health Panel and has spoken widely about the use of FMT to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile infection.


Dr Jane Freeman (University of Leeds, UK)


Dr Jane Freeman is a Clinical Scientist in microbiology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and an HEE/NIHR ICA Clinical Lecturer. She holds a visiting researcher position at the University of Leeds. She completed her PhD on antibiotics and Clostridium difficile with Prof Mark Wilcox in 2001, which was the start of a career-long interest in this organism. After a postdoctoral position in Prof. Wilcox's lab, Jane moved to the NHS to train as a clinical scientist, specialising in healthcare associated infections, and helping to establish the highly successful Healthcare Associated Infections Research group at Leeds – a multi-organisation research group bringing together academics and scientists from University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Public Health England. Jane's particular research interests are antimicrobial resistance in C. difficile, gut dysbiosis and paediatric C. difficile infection; she is also a strong advocate of research careers and opportunities for healthcare scientists within the NHS.

Ulrik Justesen, MD (Odense University Hospital, DK)


Ulrik Justesen is MD and Senior Consultant (clinical microbiology) at Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark. His main interests are anaerobic bacteria and resistance, with several publications on identification with molecular methods and MALDI-TOF, but also resistance epidemiology and methodology. He has been participating, for the last couples of years, in the development of a EUCAST disk diffusion method for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of anaerobic bacteria in collaboration with the EUCAST development laboratory in Växjö, Sweden, and the anaerobe reference unit in Cardiff.


Dr Alan Walker (University of Aberdeen, UK)


Dr Alan Walker is a microbiologist by training with specific interests in the bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tracts of mammalian hosts. After receiving a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from the University of Aberdeen he studied for my PhD at the Rowett Institute and at the University of Dundee, specialising in gut microbiology and the role that intestinal anaerobic bacteria play in the breakdown of dietary fibre. Following his PhD he spent eight years at the Wellcome Sanger Institute before moving to his current post as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen. His lab’s current research uses a combination of anaerobic culturing and DNA sequencing techniques to better characterise gut microbial communities. His main areas of interest are investigating links between host diet, the gut microbiota and health, and the ways in which the intestinal microbiota protects the host from invading pathogenic microbes.

Professor Nigel Minton (SBRC University of Nottingham, UK)

Professor Nigel Minton is the Director of the Nottingham BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC). His career began at the Department of Health Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR), Porton Down before moving to Nottingham in 2004. His specialism has been the genus Clostridium, from both a medical (infection and anti-cancer spore delivery vehicles) and industrial (chemicals and fuels) perspective. He has an international reputation for excellence in advanced gene technologies, including the ClosTron, the most widely used clostridial mutagen. He leads Clostridium difficile research within the University of Nottingham’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, is the Director of the BBSRC Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy CCnet (Carbon Recycling: Converting Waste Derived GHG into Chemicals, Fuels and Animal Feed), holds numerous EU awards and receives funding from the US NAID and Swiss National Funding Council.

Noel Craine (Public Health Wales, UK)


Noel Craine works as a research scientist for Public Health Wales with an interest in infectious disease epidemiology and control. He is working closely with microbiology and health protection colleagues on the DIGEST project to use whole genome sequencing as part of the national response to C difficile infection.

Abstracts and Posters

You can download the poster abstracts for this meeting below. 

Anaerobe 2019 poster abstract book

Abstract guidance

Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words. The Society has produced a guide to give delegates some tips from the session organisers on how to write a great abstract, which can be downloaded below:

How to... write a great abstract

Please note that the abstract is the only information session organisers use when deciding whether to accept your work for presentation as an offered oral or poster. If accepted, it will also be published in the abstract book for the conference – so think carefully about what needs to be included.

Oral presentations

In order to ensure your presentation runs smoothly, you are asked to comply with the following:

  • PC versions of PowerPoint presentations are brought to the conference on a USB memory stick.
  • Mac versions of PowerPoint presentations can only be accepted if you bring your own laptop and connecting cables.
  • Please allow for three minutes Q&A following your talk in your allocated times.
Flash poster presentations 
  • Flash presentations should be five minutes long (4 minutes presentation and 1 minute Q&A).
  • Please prepare no more than three PowerPoint slides (in total).
  • Slides should be provided to the IT support via a USB memory stick in advance of the session and should be tested.
  • Please present your poster following the poster guidelines below.


Those who are presenting a poster must ensure the work is presented as below. We cannot accommodate incorrectly formatted posters during the conference.

  • Poster Size: A0 size 841mm(w) x 1189mm(h) – your poster must not exceed these measurements.
  • Poster layout MUST BE portrait orientation.
  • Posters will be displayed on poster boards measuring 1m(w) x 2m(h), one to a side.
  • Posters can ONLY be fixed by Velcro (provided at conference).
  • Your poster number will be sent prior to the conference.

Microbiology poster prize 

The Microbiology Society publication Microbiology will be awarding a prize to the poster that presents particularly compelling or novel research in the field of anaerobic clinical microbiology. The winner will receive a cash prize and a certificate.


Registration is now open.

What's included in your registration fee?
  • Admission to all scientific sessions
  • Tea and coffee breaks
  • Dinner on each evening
  • Lunch
  • Delegate bag
  • Programme book
  • Certificate of participation (upon request)

Delegate Fee

Early bird rate
(Available until Tuesday 4 June)

Delegate Fee

Full price rate
(Available until Tuesday 11 June)

Full Member Rate £230 £240
Postgraduate and Undergraduate Student Member Rate £180 £190
Non-member Rate £330 £340
Registration confirmation

Upon registration you should receive an automated confirmation email. Please contact [email protected] if after 24 hours this has not been received.

Visa applications

If you need a letter of invitation for a visa application, we will be happy to supply this after we have received full payment.

Please note that all conference delegates are responsible for their own travel and visa arrangements, the Microbiology Society will not take any responsibility for travel or visa problems.

Payment information

All registration fees must be paid in full BEFORE arrival at the meeting. Any outstanding registration fees must be paid before admittance will be granted to the meeting.


Refunds will not be provided. Substitutions of attendees can be made at any time by contacting [email protected].

Destination and Venue


This meeting will take place at the Jurys Inn Cardiff.

GPS  N 51 28 58.5

W 3 10 26.4

Getting there

Jurys Inn Cardiff is located right in the heart of this historic and vibrant city. The hotel is a minute's stroll from the nearest train station Cardiff Queen Street station. The nearest bus station is just a 2 minute walk away on Greyfriars Road. Cardiff airport is a 35 minute drive and is also accessible by bus.

Car parking

There is on-site car parking available for 55 cars at an additional charge of £17 per night for residents


Things to do in Cardiff

Whether it’s your first time in Cardiff or your tenth visit to the city, there’s always something new to discover about the vibrant Welsh capital. If you need some inspiration for your next stay, here are some of our favourite sights and attractions in and around the city centre.

Principality Stadium 

From football to rugby and speedway to monster trucks, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium is undoubtedly one of the best sporting arenas in the UK. The stadium is little more than a ten minute walk from our hotel, perfect if you’re watching a match or taking a behind-the-scenes tour. 

We recommend: checking your gate number and plotting your route to the stadium beforehand, as the city centre can get busy on match days

National Museum Cardiff 

Just eight minutes away from our Cardiff hotel by foot, the National Museum Cardiff is a true gem of the capital. Spanning history, geology, art and more, the exhibits are not only great for kids and adults, but the museum is equally impressive for its stunning architecture too.

We recommend: taking a short walk through the neighbouring Alexandra Gardens after your visit to the museum.

Cardiff Bay

The docklands area of Cardiff has been transformed into a beautiful, relaxing and culturally diverse area of the city, so make sure you pay a visit while you’re in the Welsh capital. Enjoy a meal at one of the waterside restaurants in Mermaid Quay before seeing a play at the Wales Millennium Centre or walking over the barrage.

We recommend: Checking the what’s on guide so you don’t miss out on the fabulous events at Roald Dahl Plass.

Cardiff Castle

Located right at the heart of the city and just a quick walk from Jurys Inn, Cardiff Castle is a truly unique place to go during your stay in the capital. Whether you’re visiting the Norman Keep, exploring the wartime tunnels or taking a tour of the house, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at this action-packed attraction.

We recommend: taking a ghost tour through the castle grounds if you’re feeling brave

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

From world-famous pop stars to comedy, business networking and darts, Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena hosts a huge range of events throughout the year. Whether you’re visiting the city for business or pleasure, make sure you check the what’s on guides before you arrive so you don’t miss out.

We recommend: going for a meal at one of the many restaurants on Mill Lane before arriving at the venue.

Social Programme

Drinks reception, poster viewing and exhibition

Thursday 13 June and Friday 14 June, 17:00-19:00
Whitehall Suite, Jurys Inn Cardiff, UK

Following the conference sessions, we would like to invite you to an informal drinks reception and poster session that will allow you to discuss the research with the authors, catch up with old contacts and make new ones. Additionally, you can talk to our exhibitors and learn more about their products.

Meeting Dinner

Thursday 13 June and Friday 14 June 20:00
Whitehall Suite, Jurys Inn Cardiff, UK

The meeting dinner will be held in the Whitehall Suite each evening from 20:00. This is a three course dinner exclusively for conference delegates and will be a great opportunity to continue discussions from the day in a relaxed atmosphere.

Grants and Professional Development

Conference grants

Society Conference Grants are now closed. 

ECM Forum Co-Chairing Scheme

The ECM Forum Co-Chairing Scheme provides ECM Forum members with the opportunity to be involved in the chairing of scientific sessions at the conference. The Co-Chairs will not receive any monetary value in co-chairing and will not take the place of a session Chair, but will receive a fantastic professional development opportunity to learn about being a session chair from more experienced colleagues.

ECM Forum members who are submitting an abstract to the meeting are asked to express interest in the Co-Chairing Scheme via the abstract submission system, and are invited to provide a statement outlining the following information:

  • Why do you want to be a session Co-Chair?
  • Which session(s) would you like to Co-Chair?
  • Provide evidence of your expertise in this subject area

All applications will be reviewed by the Society's Divisions and successful Co-Chairs will be introduced to the relevant session Chair.

Co-Chairs will receive a letter of thanks from the ECM Forum Executive Committee confirming that they participated in the Co-Chairing Scheme, and will be recognised in the conference programme.

For questions about the ECM Forum Co-Chairing Scheme, please contact [email protected].

Exhibition & Sponsorship

Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities are available for this meeting. For more information, please contact [email protected] or download and return the booking form to ensure your presence at the event.

Anaerobe 2019 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Application Form


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