Healthcare Associated Infection Research Group

What we do

The Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Research Group is part of the Leeds Institute of Medical Research, and is closely aligned with the clinical infection service at Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust. We consist of team members from the University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Public Health England (PHE), and comprise of  approximately 30 doctors, scientists, nurses, technicians, managerial and support staff and PhD students. We lead the Infection theme of the Leeds In-vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Leeds MIC).

Our research projects are diverse and include multiple aspects of Clostridium difficile infection, including pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention, infection diagnostics, antibiotic resistance and the gut microbiome, staphylococcal and intra-abdominal infections, and the clinical development of new antimicrobial agents.

We operate a shared goal of excellence across academia, patient care and public health. We collaborate closely with multiple companies to advance the delivery of infection interventions at the patient, organisation and national level. We have a successful track record of translational research, including providing the basis of clinical advice to the NHS.


Horizon 2020; National Institute for Health Research (NIHR); Medical Research Council (MRC); Heathcare Infection Society (HIS); Innovate UK; National Institute of Health (NIH) – US; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – US; British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy; Rosetrees Trust; Merck & Co; Pfizer; Astellas Pharma EMEA; Da Volterra; BioMerieux; Alere; TechLab; Cepheid; Sanofi Pasteur; Seres Therapeutics.

Key publications

Key publications our team has contributed to

  1. Clinical Practice Guidelines for Clostridium difficile Infection in Adults and Children: 2017 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).
    McDonald LC, Gerding DN, Johnson S, Bakken JS, Carroll KC, Coffin SE, Dubberke ER, Garey KW, Gould CV, Kelly C, Loo V, Shaklee Sammons J, Sandora TJ, Wilcox MH.
    Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 19;66(7):e1-e48. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix1085.
  2. Understanding Clostridium difficile Colonization.
    Crobach MJT, Vernon JJ, Loo VG, Kong LY, Péchiné S, Wilcox MH, Kuijper EJ.
    Clin Microbiol Rev. 2018 Mar 14;31(2). pii: e00021-17. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00021-17. Print 2018 Apr. Review.
  3. overt dissemination of carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC) in a successfully controlled outbreak: long- and short-read whole-genome sequencing demonstrate multiple genetic modes of transmission.
    Martin J, Phan HTT, Findlay J, Stoesser N, Pankhurst L, Navickaite I, De Maio N, Eyre DW, Toogood G, Orsi NM, Kirby A, Young N, Turton JF, Hill RLR, Hopkins KL, Woodford N, Peto TEA, Walker AS, Crook DW, Wilcox MH.
    J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017 Nov 1;72(11):3025-3034. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx264.
  4. Patient and Strain Characteristics Associated With Clostridium difficile Transmission and Adverse Outcomes.
    Martin JSH, Eyre DW, Fawley WN, Griffiths D, Davies K, Mawer DPC, Peto TEA, Crook DW, Walker AS, Wilcox MH.
    Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Oct 15;67(9):1379-1387. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy302.
  5. Two Distinct Patterns of Clostridium difficile Diversity Across Europe Indicating Contrasting Routes of Spread.
    Eyre DW, Davies KA, Davis G, Fawley WN, Dingle KE, De Maio N, Karas A, Crook DW, Peto TEA, Walker AS, Wilcox MH; EUCLID Study Group.
    Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Sep 14;67(7):1035-1044. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy252.
  6. Effects of control interventions on Clostridium difficile infection in England: an observational study.
    Dingle KE, Didelot X, Quan TP, Eyre DW, Stoesser N, Golubchik T, Harding RM, Wilson DJ, Griffiths D, Vaughan A, Finney JM, Wyllie DH, Oakley SJ, Fawley WN, Freeman J, Morris K, Martin J, Howard P, Gorbach S, Goldstein EJC, Citron DM, Hopkins S, Hope R, Johnson AP, Wilcox MH, Peto TEA, Walker AS, Crook DW; Modernising Medical Microbiology Informatics Group.
    Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Apr;17(4):411-421. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30514-X. Epub 2017 Jan 25.
  7. Efficacy and safety of ridinilazole compared with vancomycin for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection: a phase 2, randomised, double-blind, active-controlled, non-inferiority study.
    Vickers RJ, Tillotson GS, Nathan R, Hazan S, Pullman J, Lucasti C, Deck K, Yacyshyn B, Maliakkal B, Pesant Y, Tejura B, Roblin D, Gerding DN, Wilcox MH; CoDIFy study group.
    Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Jul;17(7):735-744. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30235-9. Epub 2017 Apr 28.
  8. ezlotoxumab for prevention of recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection.
    Wilcox MH, Gerding DN, Poxton IR, Kelly C, Nathan R, Birch T, Cornely OA, Rahav G, Bouza E, Lee C, Jenkin G, Jensen W; MODIFY I and MODIFY II Investigators.
    Drug Ther Bull. 2018 May;56(5):57-60. doi: 10.1136/dtb.2018.5.0626. Review.
  9. Underdiagnosis of Clostridium difficile across Europe: the European, multicentre, prospective, biannual, point-prevalence study of Clostridium difficile infection in hospitalised patients with diarrhoea (EUCLID).
    Davies KA, Longshaw CM, Davis GL, Bouza E, Barbut F, Barna Z, Delmée M, Fitzpatrick F, Ivanova K, Kuijper E, Macovei IS, Mentula S, Mastrantonio P, von Müller L, Oleastro M, Petinaki E, Pituch H, Norén T, Nováková E, Nyč O, Rupnik M, Schmid D, Wilcox MH.
    Lancet Infect Dis. 2014 Dec;14(12):1208-19. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70991-0. Epub 2014 Nov 7.
  10. Rapid, comprehensive, and affordable mycobacterial diagnosis with whole-genome sequencing: a prospective study.
    Pankhurst LJ, Del Ojo Elias C, Votintseva AA, Walker TM, Cole K, Davies J, Fermont JM, Gascoyne-Binzi DM, Kohl TA, Kong C, Lemaitre N, Niemann S, Paul J, Rogers TR, Roycroft E, Smith EG, Supply P, Tang P, Wilcox MH, Wordsworth S, Wyllie D, Xu L, Crook DW; COMPASS-TB Study Group.
    Lancet Respir Med. 2016 Jan;4(1):49-58. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00466-X. Epub 2015 Dec 4.
  11. Once-weekly dalbavancin versus daily conventional therapy for skin infection.
    Boucher HW, Wilcox M, Talbot GH, Puttagunta S, Das AF, Dunne MW.
    N Engl J Med. 2014 Jun 5;370(23):2169-79. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1310480.
  12. Evolutionary history of the Clostridium difficile pathogenicity locus.
    Dingle KE, Elliott B, Robinson E, Griffiths D, Eyre DW, Stoesser N, Vaughan A, Golubchik T, Fawley WN, Wilcox MH, Peto TE, Walker AS, Riley TV, Crook DW, Didelot X.
    Genome Biol Evol. 2014 Jan;6(1):36-52. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evt204.
  13. Interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing practices for hospital inpatients.
    Davey P, Marwick CA, Scott CL, Charani E, McNeil K, Brown E, Gould IM, Ramsay CR, Michie S.
    Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Feb 9;2:CD003543. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003543.pub4. Review.
  14. Differences in outcome according to Clostridium difficile testing method: a prospective multicentre diagnostic validation study of C difficile infection.
    Planche TD, Davies KA, Coen PG, Finney JM, Monahan IM, Morris KA, O'Connor L, Oakley SJ, Pope CF, Wren MW, Shetty NP, Crook DW, Wilcox MH.
    Lancet Infect Dis. 2013 Nov;13(11):936-45. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70200-7. Epub 2013 Sep 3.
  15. Diverse sources of C. difficile infection identified on whole-genome sequencing.
    Eyre DW, Cule ML, Wilson DJ, Griffiths D, Vaughan A, O'Connor L, Ip CLC, Golubchik T, Batty EM, Finney JM, Wyllie DH, Didelot X, Piazza P, Bowden R, Dingle KE, Harding RM, Crook DW, Wilcox MH, Peto TEA, Walker AS.
    N Engl J Med. 2013 Sep 26;369(13):1195-205. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1216064.


Who we are


Group Lead
Professor Mark Wilcox

View our team members