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Trinity College Dublin

David Coleman

Professor and Chair of Oral and Applied Microbiology (personal chair)

Contact details:Tel:  +353 (01) 612 7276, Email: david.coleman@dental.tcd.ie

Administrative responsibilities:

  • Head of Division of Oral Biosciences
  • Head of Microbiology
  • Director of the Oral Biosciences Laboratory


  • Microbiology and infection prevention and control
  • Applied microbiology and environmental management in healthcare facilities
  • Postgraduate (Ph.D.) research student supervision

Research Interests:

Management of microbial biofilms in water systems in healthcare facilities.

One of my main research interests focuses on the development of automated systems for controlling microbial contamination in water systems in healthcare facilities, especially those supplying medical devices such as dental chair units. Waterborne spread of infectious disease is potentially significant with medical devices supplied with water. This research is fundamentally translational and involves industrial partners in Finland (Planmeca) and in Ireland (Trustwater) and has resulted in the development of novel dental chairs with automated and semi-automated control systems for eliminating microbial contamination. Large-scale automated systems for maintaining the water quality in large water distribution systems at better than drinking quality have also be developed and successfully commercialised. Current work includes the application of Trustwater Ecasol vapour technology for the rapid and effective environmental decontamination of healthcare facilities.

Molecular epidemiology and population analysis of MRSA.

Another main research interest concerns the population analysis of MRSA from hospital and community sources. MRSA have been endemic in Irish hospitals for nearly 40 years and have been responsible for considerable patient morbidity. The recent emergence of community-acquired MRSA has added to this problem. Infections with MRSA also cause a considerable drain on limited healthcare resources. My work in this field focuses on high-throughput screening of populations of MRSA using sophisticated DNA typing systems and DNA arrays. This allows the accurate tracing of the sources of MRSA and allows the early identification of emerging strains with enhanced virulence potential and antimicrobial agent resistance.

Epidemiology and population biology of Candida dubliniensis.

Candida dubliniensis is a pathogenic yeast species discovered by Derek Sullivan and I in 1995. The organism causes infections in immunocompromised and debilitated patients. My research on this yeast focuses on its epidemiology, population biology and drug resistance mechanisms, work that is complementary to research undertaken by other members of the Microbiology Unit.

Representative recent publications:

1. Creamer E, Shore AC, Deasy EC, Galvin S, Dolan A, Walley N, McHugh S, Fitzgerald-Hughes D, Sullivan DJ, Cunney R, Coleman DC. Humphreys H. 2014.  Air and surface contamination patterns of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on eight acute hospital wards. Journal of Hospital Infection 86(3):201-208.

2. Jordan RPC, Williams DW, Moran GP, Coleman DC, Sullivan DJ. 2014. Comparative adherence of Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis to human buccal epithelial cells and extracellular matrix proteins. Medical Mycology 52(3):254-263.

3. Kinnevey PM, Shore AC, Brennan GI, Sullivan DJ, Ehricht R, Monecke, S Coleman DC. 2014. Extensive genetic diversity identified among sporadic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates recovered in Irish hospitals between 2000 and 2012. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 58(4):1907-1917.

4. McManus BA, Coleman DC. 2014. Molecular epidemiology, phylogeny and evolution of Candida albicans. Infection Genetics and Evolution 21():166-178.

5. Shore AC, Tecklenborg SC, Brennan GI, Ehricht R, Monecke S, Coleman DC. 2014. Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive Staphylococcus aureus in Ireland from 2002 to 2011: 21 clones, frequent importation of clones, temporal shifts of predominant methicillin-resistant S. aureus clones, and increasing multiresistance. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 52(3):859-870.

6. Burns A, Shore AC, Brennan GI, Coleman DC, Egan J, Fanning S, Galligan M., Gibbons JF, Gutierrez M, Malhotra-Kumar S, Markey BK, Sabirova JS, Wang J, Leonard FC. 2014. A longitudinal study of Staphylococcus aureus colonization in pigs in Ireland. Veterinary Microbiology 174:504-513

7. Kinnevey PM, Shore AC, Brennan GI, Sullivan DJ, Ehricht R, Monecke S, Slickers P, Coleman DC. (2013). Emergence of sequence type 779 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus harboring a novel pseudo staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec)-SCC-SCCCRISPR composite element in Irish hospitals. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 57(1):524-531.

8. Monecke S, Gavier-Widen D, Mattsson R, Rangstrup-Christensen L, Lazaris A, Coleman DC, Shore AC, Ehricht R. (2013). Detection of mecC-Positive Staphylococcus aureus (CC130-MRSA-XI) in diseased European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Sweden. PLoS One 8(6):e66166.

9. Shore AC, Coleman DC. (2013). Staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec: recent advances and new insights. International Journal of Medical Microbiology 303(8):350-359.

10. McManus BA, Maguire R, Cashin PJ, Claffey N, Flint S, Abdulrahim MH, Coleman DC. (2012). Enrichment of multilocus sequence typing clade 1 with oral Candida albicans isolates in patients with untreated periodontitis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 50(10):3335-3344.


Full CV